Opening July 2, 2015
Directed by: Anders Thomas Jensen
Writing credits: Anders Thomas Jensen
Principle actors: David Dencik, Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Gabriel (Dencik) is a university professor, quite proper with suit and tie. Elias (Mikkelsen) is his crazy, laid-back brother, who does nothing, except perhaps chase women unsuccessfully. The death of their father unravels their lives. They sort through family videotapes and learn that they are only half-brothers and their father never was their biological father. They get into the car and set off for an isolated island called Ork, population 41, where their real father supposedly lives with his other family. It turns out that there is no father, but five brothers. They also meet Mayor Flemming and his daughter Ellen, the local physician, and a kindergarten teacher who minds a few children. Gabriel and Elias are not welcome and there are fist fights. However, they manage to enter the huge old house and learn the secret of their origins.
Mads Mikkelsen has been in strange films before (Adams Apple, 2005, also by Thomas Anders Jensen, is a favorite), but this one will be hard to beat in the weird category. And I can imagine the same for David Dencik. You’ll never guess the “secret” and you won’t believe it, even when you find out. Perhaps a clue is when one brother says, “I’m not quite normal.” Their real father was quite interested in science and genetics, sperm and infertility. A film for viewers willing to try something different, I enjoyed it, especially the last scene with everyone happily gathered around the dinner table, which might remind you of your own family. In fact maybe our own families are not really so dissimilar from this film family if we are honest with ourselves. (Becky T.)