It always starts out innocently enough. Your car stalls in the middle of a freeway. A distraught girl swerves to avoid you, her car flipping end over end landing her in a coma. You feel guilty and go to see her in hospital pretending to be her boyfriend so you can get past security. Her whole family is there and mistake you for the boyfriend, because, coincidentally, they have not met him. You play along because your married and bored with your overly metered life.
If I hear that story one more time.
There are plenty of gaping plot holes in the first 10 minutes of this Danish suspense film but what follows will delete any conscious thought of them because the girl in a coma wakes up. And she’s got a messy back story, only she can’t quite remember it. At least not yet.
Given the odd and unbelievable-on-paper details, the acting is excellent and shapes the story into something mysterious and suspenseful. Anders Berthelsen beautifully portrays a man recklessly caught up in intrigue and an ill-fated relationship. Rebecka Hamse is very convincing as the recovering patient horror-struck by resurfacing memories interleaved with a starkly contrasting reality.
Filming makes good use of odd angles and painfully tight-framed groups of people to convey a sense of family support during the rocky hospital stay and recovery. It also conveys the sense that the present is skewed, too contrived and not all at what it seems.
The sound track and editing are good at heightening the moments of suspense. They also work to underscore the contrived nature of the present meant to obfuscate the past; full on classical music production for a hospital exit. Sure, that’s overly grandiose, not one bit.
There’s a Hitchcockian dialogue between the two adversaries in the final scenes which is close to brilliant, as one tries to unravel the other by card-calling secrets. Afterwards you get a clear picture of coma girl’s life, her two love stories collide and collapse.
Yet another love story? No. Worthy suspense film with characteristic Danish foreboding? You bet.