the fresh films reviews

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Kjærlighetens kjøtere (1995)

Hans Petter Moland
Zero Kelvin
118 minutes
Bent Rognlien
Screenwriter (from the novel "Larsen" by Peter Tutein):
Lars Bill Lundholm
Hans Petter Moland

Cast includes:

Randbæk Stellan Skarsgård
Henrik Larsen Gard B. Eidsvold
Jakob Holm Bjørn Sundquist
Gertrude Camilla Martens
Officer Paul-Ottar Haga
Company man Johannes Joner
Kaptein Erik Øksnes
Dommer Lars Andreas Larssen



The concept of isolation has always been one of great resonance in the Northern psyche, and in Hans Petter Moland's Kjærlighetens kjøtere, we are given an introduction to why and how it might have affected us. How our cold, inhibited emotional life might stem from or be influenced by the cold, isolated nature that surrounds us. Kjærlighetens kjøtere is a powerful psychological drama with strong performances by the three leads.

In the 1920s, the young romantic, struggling writer Henrik Larsen (Eidsvold) accepts a year's engagement at a hunter's lodge in the middle of the Greenland ice sheet. There he meets his opposite in the psychopathic misanthrope Randbæk (Skarsgård) who does everything he can to shatter Henrik's naïve world view while at the same time creating a testing tension between Henrik, himself and the seemingly subdued scientist Holm (Sundquist).

Kjærlighetens kjøtere has a gloomy, poetic feel to it which alternately elaborates and hampers its intentions. Almost without a music soundtrack and set all but exclusively inside a small shack in the middle of a vast arctic landscape, the film is able to simultaneously generate feelings of claustrophobia and agoraphobia while always keeping us on the edge of our seats concerning the abruptly dichotomic relationship between Henrik and Randbæk. Moland's direction is stripped and steadfast, giving his actors full confidence and using them to front his powerful and allegoric story.

The film is at its best in depicting the duplicity of the unity our three men exhibit in their struggle against the elements, parallel to the mindgames they use against each other as each tries to keep himself afloat in a largely hostile environment. It is an impressive, but thoroughly strenuous experience. Eidsvold and Sundquist both give strong performances, but it is Stellan Skarsgård's explosive, sinister and layered portrayal of Rambæk that gives this interesting psychological study its potency. Arguably Skarsgård's best work since Den enfaldiga mördaren.



Etter at han hadde fått nok av Ranbæk og dyttet ham ut i snøen:
Henrik Larsen: "Kommer du inn så tømmer jeg hele magasinet midt i trynet på deg."

After having enough of Ranbæk and pushing him out in the snow:
Henrik Larsen: "If you come back in, I'll empty the entire magazine in your face."

Copyright © 6.4.2008 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang