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Customer Review

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austere transcendentalism, 26 July 2009
This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
Dreyer comes as a revelation.Set in 1920s Denmark centred on the Borgen family farm. Within one family we have variations of belief. The stern paterfamilias,Morten Borgen, who's own belief is of a life-affirming Christianity of the mainstream. His eldest son,Mikkel is a humanist agnostic.His wife Ingers, is a true believer who hopes she can lead her husband back to the faith.Then there is Anders,who has fallen in love with Anne a neighbour's daughter from a stricter fundamentalist sect.However Johannes is seen preaching to nature outside in the dunes and grasses.He has become mentally deranged after reading Kierkegaard while training as a Pastor.He clearly upsets his family wandering as he does in and out of rooms and touched by his pure incantatory faith.He observes others' loss of faith as he passes them. He tells the Pastor he is Jesus of Nazareth.The Pastor asks how he can prove it as he comes across as somewhat sceptical.Johannes is dismayed at the state of the state church which cannot believe in miracles. Peter the fundamentalist does not want Anders to marry his daughter and Morten being wealthier,is so put out by this he pays Peter a visit to have it out with him with Anders.Peter and Morten fight and Peter wishes upon Morten a shocking event to wake him up. The shock comes as his daughter-in-law,-shown earlier to be the hub of the farmstead,ministering to all the family members care with a gentle,caring,compassionate disposition- has a premature delivery and loses her baby son.She also loses her life after a deterioration. The beliefs that people hold do not unite them.

Johannes thinks it a disgrace that nobody wished Inger to come to life. He is led by the hand of his neice who literally believes he can do the impossible and perform a miracle in a mysterious climax.Johannes has a miraculous return to sanity, instead of believing he is Jesus Christ he invokes Jesus Christ over the dead body. I wont give away the ending:it's something the spectator has to see themselves in order to believe it.The camera is moving all the time between people,diagonally,up and down,across the cabin floor and from scene to scene and room to room.There is a complex combination of rhythms, from the gliding camera right to the way the lines are read.The camera tracks and pans each character at a distance.There is continuous,flowing,horizontallygliding movement.Every character has their distinctive walk and speech and facial expression.Only when Johannes recognizes his delusion does he receive spiritual power,who seems to be given the 'word'that can bring the dead alive.Cinematic illusion makes us believe the unbelievable. The quality of the whole mise-en-scene gives a larger than life transcendence to this group of slow moving and slow talking actors. Based on a play by Munk( a playwright and country priest) killed by the Nazis due to his living and dying by the 'word'(ordet).
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jul 2013 13:04:04 BDT
A customer says:
"I wont give away the ending..........."

Why not? You've given away just about everything else about the film. People should be left to view this amazing and beautiful film without being told the story in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Feb 2014 08:45:25 GMT
police999 says:
To be fair, this is one of the Best reviews that I HAVE EVER had the pleasure of reading. Equally we all have ' freedom of choice' free will, therefore if we see a review about a certain film and do not want to find out the plot or storyline, one should simply scroll on and read something else. It was your Choice to read the write up, as it was my choice to read the write up, and as a result I have purchased the film, I had no idea this film even existed, so therefore thank you to the person who wrote up that Sterling Review.
Kind Regards

..
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technoguy
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