Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife (Connie Nielsen) and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a drifter living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission, the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is presumed dead, and Sarah is comforted by Jannik who becomes more responsible and capable as a friend and uncle to the girls. Michael is captured, and returns home after a horrible experience, but his trauma can not be helped as things are irrevocably changed in the family.
How often do I see Danish films? I think this is my second after Babette’s Feast. I’ve wanted to watch this one for awhile having heard good things overall, the performances notably. It was quite emotional, and Michael’s experiences in Afghanistan were provocative. The movie is about PTSD, families, grief, and the tragedy of life. Michael’s experience may be an exception, but his coping and aftermath are not to a soldier. I knew watching the movie that were not be a clear-cut or happy ending, but I think it was satisfying with a little hope. A lot of the film is done with handheld camera making the scenes more visceral and documentary. The performances by all the cast are good here, and Connie Neilsen looks luminescent and almost angelic in the whole movie. I liked her character a lot, and it wasn’t contrite to see how both brothers would find her beautiful. Both Thomsen and Klaas were splendid, and the triangle was underplayed compared to what you would see in most films.