Christoffer and Maja’s trip to Prague to bring back Chistoffer’s deceased father evolves into the story of a break-up. In the wake of the events that follow, secrets gradually emerge which threaten to destroy their marriage.
Director: Ole Christian Madsen
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Stine Stengade, Jana Plodokova, Borivoj Navratil
Language: Danish/English/ Czech
What I liked:
- Mads Mikkelsen: He is phenomenal as Christoffer. Christoffer’s life is falling apart & all he can do is sit & stare. He is completely helpless & you cannot help but feel for the poor man. Mads makes you feel his pain. In a world which places so much importance on communication & talking everything that you feel & sometimes even that which you don’t feel, Christoffer is a reticent man who just isn’t comfortable talking about his feelings. Because of this his wife feels alienated. She has an affair with a young artist Michael & then leaves Chris for Michael when she discovers she is pregnant with Michael’s child. All this happens a few days after his father’s death. Although he was never close to his father he is still shook by his death & is later shocked to discover that his father was in fact gay.
- Christoffer deciding to leave behind his father’s body in Prague so that he can bury it there is very touching & sweet. His mother is long dead, and no matter how much she would have liked for her husband to be buried next to her, I think it made more sense for his father’s lover to bury his father at a place where he could visit the grave when he wished.
- A man very uncomfortable in his own skin & with talking tries desperately to win his wife back. His attempts to win her over & bridge the communication gap which has developed between them are sincere, but too little too late.
- I am glad Christoffer did not sell his father’s flat. But at the same time I am also happy that Chris didn’t take things further with Alena. Rebound relationships rarely last & I think with his mother leaving him, his son needed his undivided attention at that moment.
What I did not like:
- Maya: While it is difficult to be with an uncommunicative partner I think it is a little unfair to expect the old sizzle which was there in your relationship when you first met to last after 14 years of marriage. While some are lucky to have such a relationship but a boring partner is not a reason to cheat on him. How long before the current one becomes boring too? And in this case she also went ahead & slept with Chris while being in a relationship with Michael! I guess if Chris hadn’t found out or if she hadn’t been pregnant she might have continued with both the men.
The movie is a little slow at times, especially in the beginning. But once the plot is properly established it goes at a good pace & is a powerful story. It just isn’t about how shattered & lonely Christoffer ends up being but also about how he moves on, which though not shown in the movie, but is obvious with the way he doesn’t beg his wife to stay in spite of admitting that he loves her & also hands over his father’s house to Alena & returns back home to his son.