The quirky romance "Mifune" combines unusual characters, odd situations and the radical Danish filmmaking philosophy Dogme 95 to tell a lovably unusual story.
By JOSHUA TANZER
Good-looking blond yuppies Kresten and Claire enjoy a storybook wedding in Copenhagen, and
off they go for their first night of, um, wedded bliss.
But within a day, the honeymoon is over as
Kresten gets a call on his cell phone his estranged father is dead and he must go
back to the countryside handle the details.
|Directed by: Soren Kragh-Jacobsen.|
Written by: Anders Thomas Jensen, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen.
Cast: Iben Hjejle, Anders W. Berthelsen, Jesper Asholt, Emil Tarding, Anders Hove, Sofie Grabel.
Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle.
In Danish with English subtitles.
Related links: Official site
Detail number one is his brother, Rud, who's not right in the head and now will have nobody
to take care of him. Enter Liva, who's fleeing her prostitute job in the city but almost
immediately regrets moving into the rickety old farmhouse as a housekeeper.
From here, this romance can almost write itself. Life gets complicated as personalities begin
to collide in the small hamlet.
"Here in the country, nobody has any secrets," Kresten tells
"Here in the country, there are no inhibitions," she corrects him.
Both statements will
prove true for the others but not for our protagonists as the plot unfolds. Only these two
have secrets from each other; only they have inhibitions when they're together.
But if the film is a little obvious, it's also engaging and seductive. Partly, that's because
"Mifune" is a Dogme 95 picture part of a growing body of work from a brotherhood of Danish
directors who have sworn off all artificial techniques in filmmaking, such as set design, sound dubbing, lighting, props and special effects. (More info at
the Dogme 95 web
The result in the best cases notably
"The Celebration" is that all of the emphasis is on the script and the acting,
where arguably it should be in every film. The result can be a movie with the grittiness
of cinema verite and the electricity of great theater.|
"Mifune" lives up pretty well to these possibilities by telling a simple story well, with strongly
developed characters, some absurdly funny plot twists and an offbeat charm.
|MARCH 3, 2000|
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