After The Wedding (Efter Brylluppet)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner7/03/2007

Four out of Five stars

Oscar nominated drama from the director of Open Hearts and Brothers, featuring a superb performance by Mads Mikkelsen and an engaging, sharply written script.

What's it all about?
Mads Mikkelsen (from Casino Royale) plays Jacob, a Danish charity worker seeking funding for his struggling Indian orphanage project. He heads to Denmark for a meeting with wealthy businessman Jorgen (Rolf Lassgård) and when the meeting goes well, he finds it difficult to refuse Jorgen's invitation to his daughter's wedding.

However, when Jacob sets eyes on Jorgen's wife Helena (the delightfully named Sidse Babett Knudsen), he begins to suspect that his presence at the wedding is no mere coincidence and the stage is set for a series of dramatic revelations.

The Good
With her previous films (Open Hearts and Brothers), Danish director Susanne Bier has established a strong name for herself as a director of powerful emotional dramas and After the Wedding is no exception. The superb script allows the story to unfold at a compelling pace, building an air of mystery and then gradually revealing the characters' secrets, whilst also highlighting the miscommunications between them.

Mads Mikkelsen is superb as Jacob, his seemingly closed-off demeanour gradually revealing hidden depths of emotion as he comes to terms with his new situation. There's also strong support from Rolf Lassgard, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Stine Fischer Christensen as the daughter.

The Great
The film is beautifully shot, and the impressive location work in Bombay and Copenhagen provides a stark contrast that echoes Jacob's life and the decision he has to make. Ultimately, this is a film about choices, family expectations and emotional honesty and the thought-provoking script will stay with you for days afterwards.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an impressively directed, superbly written and powerfully emotional drama with strong performances and its Oscar nomination was thoroughly deserved. Bier continues to go from strength to strength and her next film is eagerly awaited. Recommended.

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Content updated: 19/10/2019 18:39

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