Michael John Dunaway Lifestream

November 17, 2008

After the Wedding

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 4:22 pm

aftertheweddingposter

Susanne Bier’s 2007 After the Wedding is a film of which the less revealed, the better, but I will try to give you sufficient reason to invest an evening’s time in watching it.

The film opens at an orphanage in India, where Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen), the Dane who founded the mission, is bucking against a choice. A wealthy investor back in Denmark is interested in donating a great deal of money, enough to save the orphanage, but he wants to meet Jacob face to face first. Jacob doesn’t like the idea of being jerked around by a rich man, and initially refuses. But he is sternly told by the Indian woman who helps run the operation that he must do whatever it takes to save it. So with an emotional goodbye and a promise to be back in time for the birthday of the child he has taken care of since infancy, he is off.

And that’s all you’ll get from me on the plot; it really is better to let it unfold onscreen. But suffice to say that nothing is quite what it seems, and we gradually learn more and more about the layers of secrets and lies in each of the main characters’ lives. The material could have fallen into melodrama, but Bier’s subtle directorial touch and Mikkelsen’s troubled, understated presence prevent it from doing so.

If you don’t mind reading your films (it’s subtitled), and if you don’t have a heart of stone, I feel sure you’ll be moved by After the Wedding.

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