6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Life can turn such dark corners,
This review is from: Open Hearts [DVD]  (DVD)Open Hearts is as sinister as it is beautiful, and is a fantastic modern drama on the fragility of life, dependence and the need to be loved. Marie (Paprika Steen) and Joachim (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) are a young Danish couple brougt to the brink of depseration by Joachim's horrific paralysis and permanent hospitalisation caused by getting hit by a car. One of the doctors at the hospital where Joachim is a resident, Niels (Mads Mikkelsen), takes Marie under his wing and attempts to help her get through the trauma of life without Joachim by her side in initially orthodox but finally destructive method.
Susanne Bier's direction here is dream-like and hypnotic, with every character bearing their cross with equal conviction. Joachim is obviously the most outwardly frail charatcer here, but Marie shows signs of not being able to carry on without him right from the start. Her desperation to think of what to do makes her vulnerable, rash and drives her slowly mad. Niels has doubts and unsatisfaction with his homelife, which is brought to the foreground by his somewhat spontaneous and intrusive befriending of Marie. Niel's wife and children spot the inconsistencies straight away, and a battle erupts between Niels and his desires for family and those outside of it.
There are some inticing and also horrifying dream sequences here, especially with regards to Marie's fantasies about Joachim recovering from the paralysis, that add a strange black comedy to a somewhat downbeat and very realistic film. I can't really recommend this film to anyone who dislikes films just because they're supposedly depressing, because that is exactly how you would see this - but I can recommend it to people who enjoy films about exposing the fragility and beauty of human interaction and the human heart.
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Initial post: 24 Jan 2011 14:16:15 GMT
Mr. M. G. Page says:
A minor point: They're not dream sequences. Dogme rules don't permit those. They are more like attempts to show a sudden strong emotion that is both fleeting and unspoken.
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