Force Majeure (5/10)
by Tony Medley
Running time 118 minutes.
OK for children.
I must admit I was looking forward to this, skiing and beautiful scenery
and a good story (I thought). But the only action occurs near the
beginning when a bunch of skiers lunching on the top of a ski resort
think they are about to be victims of an avalanche.
Among the skiers is a couple with their two young children, Tomas
(Johannes Bah Kuhnke), his wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli), their
children, Vera and Harry (Clara & Vincent Wettergren). When the
avalanche appears to be bearing down on them, Tomas quickly grabs his
things and skedaddles, abandoning his wife and children. Turns out itís
a controlled avalanche that doesnít reach them so they are never really
in danger but the damage is done. Ebba is so bothered by her husbandís
cowardice that she feels compelled to tell everyone about it, including
an old friend of Tomasí, middle-aged Mats (Kristofer Hivju) and his 20
year-old girlfriend Fanni (Fanni Metelius), who are on the skiing
Apparently writer/director Ruben ÷slund became fascinated with a
friendís tale of her husband running away from her when accosted by a
gunman, so he did research and found that itís not uncommon in
emergencies (like the Titanic) of men sacrificing concern for their
families to save themselves. Writing this movie was the result.
The movie is filled with allegories if youíre looking for them, and the
ending has all sorts of interpretations one could make. The main problem
with the film is that it is too long, a victim of what arises when a
writer directs his own script. Everything seems so wonderful to him he
canít bear to cut anything.
There are some funny lines in the film, mainly by Fanni and some
by Mats, and there are some beautiful scenes of people skiing, and it is
interesting to a certain extent, but the story doesnít justify a film of
almost two hours duration. However, for those who spend most of their
days in nighttime, like the Swedes, maybe this is an action film. Cut
thirty minutes and this is a winner. In Swedish and English.