Just Another Love Story is a darkly comic thriller centred around Jonas (Anders W. Bertelsen), a likeable professional with a wife and two kids.
Just Another Love Story
Just Another Love Story is a darkly comic thriller centred around Jonas (Anders W. Bertelsen), a likeable professional with a wife and two kids. Jonas’ life takes an unexpected twist when he inadvertently causes Julia (Rebecka Hemse) to crash her car. The latest offering from Ole Bornedal features the gorgeous cinematography of Dan Laustsen, shot in Cambodia and in Denmark, which nevertheless reveals the ugly realities of contemporary life with a persistent intensity.
As it thriller it certainly works, with plot twists, clues slowly revealed, a mysterious villain, and an intensely dark atmosphere. But I can’t say that I actually liked it. The brutal parts were so brutal that I wanted to be anywhere but in the theatre. And as for sunny moments, there weren’t any; the closest you got was the picture of ordinary daily life. When one of your main characters is a forensic photographer you can guess where you are going. And when you discover that another is a beautiful young woman, blind and on crutches, what is left to wonder about?
‘Jonas just goes too far: he doesn’t just leave the life he knows – he lies his way to a new one – stealing another man’s identity and taking his woman in the process... there is a wildness within him, driven by a passionate and untameable dream – one which has consequences... bloody, brutal, ruthless consequences – for the man whose name he has stolen turns out to be a lovesick monster, a freak in love – a sensitive psychopath’ says writer and director Ole Bornedal.
Just another love story? On one level it is just another bleak story about the power of sex. It is the motivating for force for the three main characters; each one in a different way, each character sees their different needs being fulfilled. The person they see as fulfilling them is the fantasy that each creates.
There is lots of rain. The film begins with a dead body in the rain, and Thor, the God of Rain, is present in most scenes, keeping everyone suitably restrained, repressed, and soggy n this very Scandinavian story. We get a lot of ocean from the shores of Cambodia, a lot of lake in Denmark, and just generally a lot of water.
You see everything coming, relentlessly blackly bleakly coming at you – the slowly increasing memory flashbacks of Julia who has lost her memory, her trip to the lonely cottage; the appearance in Denmark at last by the evil psychopath the audience has been dreading. It is as chilling at it is meant to be. Thankfully the penultimate scenes display a enough originality in unexpected revelations to keep you in suspense.
'The earth vanished beneath my feet’ Jonas tells his wife...’.but I landed very hard. ‘He was convincing at this, while the crazy guy who even says, ‘my love turns to madness,’ was very crazy indeed. There is no way to fault any of the performances; they were all good. While I do admit to disappointment with the film, my gut feeling is that others may love it.
Just Another Love Story
Somerville Theatre, UWA, Crawley WA
30 Mar – 5 April, 8.30pm
Joondalup Pines, ECU, Joondalup WA
6 – 12 April, 8.30pm