I had a long backlog of movies that I needed to see this month, but when I read the premise of this movie I knew I needed to watch this movie immediately, and I am glad that I did. I must admit that I have seen other movies with a somewhat similar idea but, never have I seen it executed so meticulously as most of those films felt more like documentaries than movies. This movie on the other hand is extremely well-paced and feels very cohesive, despite some awkward time jumps. It’s definitely a very audacious movie and does not shy away from anything.
The movie manages to establish its world and main characters in a very impactful and concise manner. It utilizes clever dialogue throughout this period and we manage to learn a lot about our main character Lucas, played by Mads Mikkelsen, in just a few scenes. You learn that he was just recently divorced and has been fighting over the custody of his son for quite a while, and just when his life starts to fall in place, with him obtaining the custody of his son and finding a new love interest, his life takes the turn for the worst. And when it does fall apart you do feel bad for this character because the movie does do a great job in establishing the character. It does a great job in showcasing the rise and fall of this character
I have seen many movies over the years and have experienced a wide range of emotions, but this movie offers something unique: frustration. Within the first thirty minutes of the movie, you get to know everything there is to know about the case, there are no twists, no conveniently placed characters, and no real developments in terms of the actual case, it is exactly how it is presented at first. That is when you realize that this is not a thriller or a mystery but a drama. The characters in the movie act in a very pragmatic manner, nothing about this movie feels like a movie. It is very much reminiscent of real life and the way society treats you. The frustrating element of the movie is that there is no real antagonist in this movie and there is no one at fault here. It doesn’t play out in a one-sided manner instead it explains the reasoning behind each characters’ action and when you think about it from their perspective, the actions are justifiable. As a result of this Lucas in a sense has to acquiesce to the crime that he never committed.
All of the performances in this movie are nothing short of superb. This was really the first time I recognized Mads Mikkelson as an outstanding actor, portraying a wide variety of emotions as a contrast to the usual bad guy roles that I am acquainted with. Surprisingly, the child actors do a pretty amazing job at their role, largely due to the laconic nature of their characters.