Reprise

"Excellent"

Reprise Review


This review is an act of treachery. Not against my government nor my profession (any of them) nor towards my family and friends, mind you. This review is an act of treachery against myself and my wholly pretentious taste in movies. First of all, Joachim Trier's Reprise isn't anything new structurally: Its jokes are sharp and well-delivered but not revisionist, its insights are apt and even correct but equally familiar, and the male camaraderie it so lovingly chronicles could be easily passed-off as some arty version of Judd Apatow or Nicole Holofcener with a Y chromosome.

But more importantly, Reprise isn't for mass consumption. If you are not between the ages of 19 and 28, I pray the ticket-sellers refuse your service just this once. I say this not to be mean but as sincere conjecture: Like the first season of South Park, The Shins' Oh! Inverted World, or Andrew Bujalski's Funny Ha Ha, this is the sort of thing that acts as a private proclamation until it invariably becomes popular, resulting in every Tom, Dick, and Harry drunkenly yelling an English version of "Fingerfucked by the Prime Minister" after the keg is all but foam and regrets.

Perhaps I should explain.

The song comes from a Norwegian punk band called Kommune, and the principal characters of the film meet at their fictitious final show in the winter of 1999 in Oslo. Two of them, Philip (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Hoiner), have known each other since they were tots and picked up Lars, Grier, Henning, and Morten on their way to their mid-20s. They love Joy Division, obsess over books, and are unclear if women are necessities or distractions. Erik's first novel, Prosopeia (in English it translates to Prozac and Pee), has just been accepted by a known publisher, following Philip's first novel's acceptance six months prior. Since then, Philip has fallen in love and become obsessed with hipster-drool-bait Kira (Viktoria Winge) and ended up in the happy home with a few other "obsessives."

Things pick up right around there as Philip and Kira make a second go at their relationship and Erik begins to feel the onslaught of his upcoming fame. The trick that Trier, a thoroughly-talented newcomer, pulls off in metronomic fashion is a balance between repetition and vision. At the outset, he considers how Erik and Philip would incite riots in Africa, influence sexual identity, lose each other, and then find each other again only to write a collaborative novel; this is before we have even been properly introduced to the gents. In the film's second half, in which Erik begins work on a second novel at the behest of his hero and a loopy publisher as Philip attempts to rekindle things with Kira by taking a Hitchcockian return to Paris, Trier's tone is deftly literary and, as the title suggests, cyclical.

Reprise indulges in funny asides (Lars sneaks copies of Hustler into his bedroom, secret girlfriends litter the landscape) but its focus is harnessed on exuberance at the brink of self-seriousness. For all its staple components (an excellent cast, emotional nuance), Trier's film feels marvelously unpredictable in direction, framing, and catharsis. That the characters return to similar conflicts seems almost free-form: All discussions and arguments end only in agreement to disagree, all answers just shifting back into questions. An American version of this movie might offer some form of consensus and a place for an audience to settle in and understand the lessons given. But with Reprise, everyone has a different opinion and everyone is doing their own thing, things that begin to wane as one becomes older. The personal nature of such a film begets the feeling of ownership, especially for the twentysomethings out there. It's about revolting from everything, even revolution.

Winge and prayers.



Reprise

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 8th September 2006

Box Office USA: $0.5M

Distributed by: Miramax

Production compaines: Filmlance International AB

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 70 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Joachim Trier

Producer: Karin Julsrud

Starring: Anders Danielsen Lie as Philipp, Espen Klouman-Høiner as Erik, Viktoria Winge as Kari, Christian Rubeck as Lars, Henrik Elvestad as Henning, Pål Stokka as Geir, Odd-Magnus Williamson as Morten, Henrik Mestad as Jan, Rebekka Karijord as Johanne, Sigmund Sæverud as Sten Egil Dahl, Tone Danielsen as Inger, Elisabeth Sand as Hanne, Thorbjørn Harr as Mathis Wergeland, Silje Hagen as Lilian

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