Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Frygtelig lykkelig

Frygtelig lykkelig, or for the sake of my sanity, Terribly Happy, is a Danish film that has a plot that seems very similar to the plots of many other movies. In fact I think Nic Cage starred in a really crappy remake that had a plot similar to this movie. What is this recycled plot you say? Cop goes to small, close-knit town of people who handle their own problems and don't want some city slicker from Copenhagen coming in and messing with the town by using things like standard police regulations and calling the mythical city of Tonder (there is suppose to be that silly o with a slash through it but to hell with that!) Fine....fine...fine... Tønder. The last thing I need is a horde of Danish vikings chasing me down and and stealing all my stuff because I refused to spell the name of a town that has less that 10,000 inhabitants correctly.

Alright so the plot was rather dull sounding. We have Robert, the cop from Copenhagen, becoming the marshal of this small town in Denmark that is described by one of the residents as nothing but cows, mud and rubber boots. Sounds amazingly exciting! And it turns out to be just that. A married woman, Ingerlise, strikes up a relationship with Robert and reveals that he drunkard maniac of a husband, (grrrrr) Jørgen, beats her up regularly. Of course she refuses to file a report. While all this is going on the film continually gives us this sense of eeriness. Not like supernatural stuff, like the town if full of Satan worshipers that want to put Robert into a giant straw man and burn him alive in some crazy ceremony, no just a sense that this town is hiding some other kind of secret. They keep making references to things the old marshal did and seem annoyed when Robert doesn't want to do things like the old marshal. As you can guess things between Robert and Ingerlise heat up and that can lead to nothing good because Jørgen is the biggest, meanest dude in town. If you want the rest of the story you will have to learn to read subtitles, speak Danish, and watch the movie.

The movie gives off a palpable sense of impending doom and suspense that seems to pervade every single scene and the movie also has a very subtle and evil ending that made up for the cookie-cutter sounding plot. I highly suggest you try and watch the movie if you have time. There is also an epic drinking competition between Robert and Jørgen in this movie as well. They pound back beer after beer after whiskey after whiskey! 4/5 stars.

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