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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just Another Love Story (aka Kaerlighed Pa Film) (2007)

When his stalled auto is hit by a young woman (Rebecka Hemse) driving recklessly, a family man (Anders W. Berthelsen) visits her in the hospital where she is in a deep coma. Her family mistakes him for the boyfriend she left in Viet Nam. Foolishly, he allows them to believe he is the boyfriend (who the girl shot to death in Hanoi) but when suddenly she comes out of the coma, her memory is gone and he continues the deception. But we know from the very beginning of the film which opens with Berthelsen bleeding and dying in the rain, that tragedy looms over the movie's landscape but even so we're not prepared for the enormity of how disturbing it all is. Directed by Ole Bornedal (the Danish director who directed both NATTEVAGTEN and its English language remake, NIGHTWATCH), the film is infuriating in many ways because Berthelsen's actions seem so consciously foolish, much less ethically wrong, that he seems almost self destructive. But when the grand scheme of the film is revealed, he becomes a tragic, almost Shakespearean, protagonist. Bornedal's technique sometimes threatens to call attention to itself (not unlike MEMENTO) and often gets in the way of the story but if you hang in there, you'll be rewarded.

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