Reprise is a good film. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s shot beautifully and the actors are great also. The main two characters are Phillip (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Høiner), two aspiring writers with varying levels of success. The movie begins with them both posting manuscripts in the hope of getting them published. This is the first instance in which an unseen narrator begins to speak, taking the audience through the possible future of these two characters. The movie uses this idea a lot, the characters think to possible scenarios that may or may not happen. This can blur things a little bit, for example, I was watching a scene in the middle thinking when does this take place? The past, the present or perhaps it is just another possible outcome? It can get a little confusing but these ‘daydream-like’ scenes are a brilliant idea.
The events in the film don’t appear to be interesting on the surface, they’re the problems of the spoilt kids from the rich side of Oslo. I usually hate drama films as a general rule but Reprise kept me watching. Some parts were funny, some sad. I’d probably it was the energetic way the film is shot, with cutaways and flashbacks, that keeps you watching. My complaint with the film though is that it feels like it’s building up to something, but the ending is surprisingly subdued. It’s anticlimactic. Roger Ebert summed it up best in his review when he wrote;
(One character) “tells one of them his novel is good and shows promise, except for the ending, where he shouldn’t have been so poetic. The movie itself is good and shows promise, except for the ending, when Trier shouldn’t have been so poetic. (Reprise) contains its own review”
If the character was describing the movie itself (intentionally or not), it is a bit annoying after the build up to have such a poetic or metaphorical ending.
I liked the settings in this film, with the main one being Oslo. It was nice to see this place from the rich kids point of view (Erik, Phillip etc) and from the underprivileged characters point of view (Erik’s girlfriend Lillian and Phillips on/off girlfriend Kari) The grey city of Oslo is juxtaposed with the beauty of Paris, which Erik leaves for at the end. He acts as if Paris is the most wonderful place on earth and with this cinematography it’s hard to argue.
Reprise is a good (possibly great) film, but the ending leaves the feeling that it could have been more. Still, I’d recommend it. Many would view this film in the same uneasy, unsure way as I did at first. (after all Norwegian drama isn’t my favourite film genre) but I was glad I watched it.