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BFI Film Festival - reviews


Yesterday I went to go see Headhunters- the Norwegian thriller directed by Morten Tyldum, the film was a fast paced action thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Most films taken from books are deemed incomparable to the original form, however not speaking the language myself, I had nothing to fall back on. There is dark black Scandinavian humour in the 2 hour film, about a corporate recruiter, Roger,, who seems to have it all yet falls into art burglary to make the extra money to keep his wife, Diana in diamonds. What starts off as what seemed to be a bland movie about the relationships between an obnoxious, self righteous 30-something, turned out to be a thriller where in the end you had warmed to the cold, materialistic Headhunter who had once been the bully, not the victim.

At the opening of his wife’s new art gallery, Roger meets Clas Greve, a perfect candidate for his client, Pathfinder – who happens to be in possession of a rare and valuable piece of art. With what started out as a simple art raid – replacing the original with a copy, Roger embarks on an action packed ride when who he thought was just candidate for his recruitment firm, is actually someone who is out to ruin Roger, despite the remarkable coincidence’s.

A ludicrous story, which seems to quickly spin from introductions to characters to cars being thrown off cliffs and ‘tracking devices’ through hair follicles, that Georg Orwell in his book 1884 would of been proud of, it did get a little lost in the action and the plot seemed to get confusing. Despite the twists and turns in the plot, it was engaging and kept me e entertained throughout.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

The second film i went to see was: Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed by Sean Durkin’s which is an intense drama about a young woman who is trying to overcome her experiences within a religious cult in America, while trying to rebuild her relationship with her sister whom she did not speak to for 2 years. The plot is slow moving and the film itself is intense with awkward silences, flashbacks of abuse when she was in the cult, on the ‘farm’ and cringe worthy moments that never really explained anything. Despite the superb acting skills from Elizabeth Olsen, nothing really gets explained within the film and with an abrupt ending, you never really find out why she ended up there, why she left and what the next move is from being admitted to a psychiatric hospital – which you never really know she goes to.

I felt a little lost throughout the film and didn’t really know where it could go. Does it live up to the film festival hype – it was praised in Cannes, I don’t think it does. The cinematography by Jody Lee Lipes is beautiful and the moments of skinny dipping in the lake, the unromantic ‘cleansing’ where ‘Marcy’ loses her virginity to Patrick – all are still beautifully made and conjure no terror although it is very chilling. The storyline is not challenging and there are no twists and turns, but it does keep you engaged through the beauty of the shot.

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