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KIRA'S REASON is the second feature by Ole Christian Madsen and was shot in the certified 'Dogma' style, using only natural lighting and sound. However, unlike its Dogma counterpart 'The Celebration', it is an intimate chamber piece that focuses on only two characters, a young successful married couple, Kira and Mads, and their attempt to reclaim their loving home after Kira suffers a nervous breakdown. Reminiscent of Cassavetes' classic 'A Woman Under the Influence' and considered one of the best film portrayals of mental illness, KIRA'S REASON is also a romantic and passionate love story.
Enjoying life in their mid-thirties, Kira and Mads have a large house, a comfortable life and two wonderful children. Their world is perfectly secure and happy until Kira inexplicably develops a psychiatric disorder that results in her being committed to a hospital. On being discharged, Kira's sole desire is to return to the normality of her previous life and fulfill her role as a good wife and mother. However, with her wide mood swings and erratic behaviors, Kira struggles to maintain her equilibrium, while Mads must decide how far he is willing go to retain the woman he loves.
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Kira's deep love for her family means that she is trying hard as she can to regain their trust and to once again be able to follow society's rules. However, despite her best intentions, her mental instability constantly puts her in embarassing situations and creates scandals which her patient husband has to clear up. But he turns out to have secrets of his own as he had an affair with Kira's sister and the question is how much love can take before it breaks.
On the basic level, A Love Story might sound like any other film that focuses on the many aspects of love, but this dogme film exhudes a special psychological realism. Furthermore, the interaction between the two main characters is unique in the portrayal of a couple fighting for love.
As it is a Dogme film, it is of course filmed with a handheld camera which brings a special nearness to the story. At the same time, it complies with the rules of natural lighting and filming on location. With the dogme idea as a strict artistic frame, the film is free to focus on the subject matter: the relevant story and the strong performances. And that is what makes it worth watching - whether or not you are a fan of the Dogme concept.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Kira went mad some time ago, and after 2 years in the mental hospital, she's returned. Her husband, who deeply loves her (despite having had an affair with her sister while Kira was away), is having a hard time of it, because Kira's clearly still nowhere near sane. Lead actress Stine Stengad is so effective, she makes the whole film beautifully painful to watch. Lars Mikkelsen is perfectly understated as her husband Mads. They're both great.
I've never written an internet review of anything before now. Upon finishing the film, I went online to learn more about it. To my surprise, I found some less than flattering reviews. I have to set the record straight. They were wrong. I don't know how anyone who is really aware of the complex uncertainties of emotion and life could not recognize the intelligent, empathetic wisdom of Kira's Reason.