Involuntary [De Ofrivilliga]

"Very Good"

Involuntary [De Ofrivilliga] Review


Five unconnected stories are shot and intercut to draw out common thematic threads in this clever, artistic exploration of peer pressure. It feels a little random and scattershot, but watching it is a deeply haunting experience.

It's late-spring in Sweden and passions are running high. Villmar (Bjorkman) has a fireworks show after dinner without taking the best safety precautions.

Teens Linnea and Sara (Cart-Lamy and Eriksson) party with their friends, even though they have no tolerance for alcohol. On a weekend away with old pals, Olle and Leif (Liljas and Edlund) find that things go a little too far. Cecilia (Milocco) wonders what to do when she sees a fellow teacher (Lundstedt) hit a student. And bus driver Henrik (Vikman) refuses to go any further until someone confesses to vandalism.

In each of these cases, the group mentality has a major effect on the moral repercussions. Sometimes this is positive or even curative, but other scenes involve ostracism and physical danger. Thankfully, the filmmakers resist the temptation to preach at us, instead just showing is the events and letting us draw any conclusions there might be. And while this is a bit cool, it's also deeply challenging.

The filmmaking style echoes this objective approach, as scenes are photographed in static, long takes that refuse to let us see everyone or everything involved. Key elements are obscured by distance, lighting or simply due to people facing the wrong way, which forces us to internalise the dialog and sometimes to imagine that we see what's happening. The performances take a similar slant, as the cast members bounce off each other with realistic awkwardness, including scenes that are pointed, tender and funny.

Along the way, tiny dramas emerge on every side, and we are forced to actively participate in each person's internal struggle. Yes, this is a "what would you do?" sort of movie, and its aloof style makes it feel overlong and rather unsettling. But it vividly depicts how each moral decision carries a consequence. Finding the strength to stand up for what's right isn't always easy. And it doesn't always make things better.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Ruben Ostlund

Producer: Erik Hemmendorff

Starring: as Villmar, as Linnea, Leif Edlund as Leif, Sara Eriksson as Sara, Lola Ewerlund as Lola, Olle Liljas as Olle, Maria Lundqvist as Maria, as Cecilia, Simeon Nordius as Sonen, Henrik Vikman as Henrik, Vera Vitali as Vera

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.