Director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's Mifune, is the third film from the Danish Dogme Collective. Subtitled in English, it is the story of Kresten (Anders W. Berhelsen) who has become an overnight sensation as a businessman in Copenhagen. The morning after his wedding to the boss' daughter, he receives a phone call that his estranged father has just died. He has trouble explaining this to his wife, since he has told everyone in the city that he has no living relatives, in attempt to disguise his humble origins. Now he must return to the family's run down farm to bury his father and make arrangements to hide the truth of his mentally retarded brother from his new family and friends.
Caught in a pack of lies with his in-laws, he comes up with a desperate plan to advertise for a housekeeper to look after his brother. But when the beautiful Liva (Iben Hjejle) arrives, she only complicates things for Kristen. Liva also is not what she seems. Out of a need to keep her rebellious younger brother Bjarke (Emil Tarding) in private school, she's been working as a high-class prostitute in Copenhagen. Now she's on the run from her pimp and a mysterious man who has been threatening her on the phone. When the two come together they get caught in a whirlwind of hysteria as their troubles begin to compound.
The film is excellent, and the Dogme style only adds to the originality of the production. Supposedly, there is one scene with music being played on a bent drainpipe, and another with an instrumentalist hiding in a ditch. The idea for the original Danish title (Mifunes Sidste Sang, literally Mifune's Last Song) came to Dragh-Jacobsen when Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune died in 1997. In Seven Samurai by director Akira Kurosawa, Mifune plays a phony samurai of peasant origins. The parallel is evident..
The Danish are really onto something with the proliferation of the Dogme style. Find out where Mifune is playing and enjoy it. It's worth the extra effort, and it's a breath of fresh air from the stale stench of the overblown Hollywood mega-productions.
Run time: 98 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th March 1999
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics
Production compaines: Zentropa Entertainments, Danmarks Radio (DR), Nimbus Film Productions, SVT Drama
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 8
IMDB: 7.2 / 10
Director: Søren Kragh-Jacobsen
Screenwriter: Anders Thomas Jensen, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen
Starring: Anders W. Berthelsen as Kresten, Iben Hjejle as Liva, Jesper Asholt as Rud, Sofie Gråbøl as Claire, Emil Tarding as Bjarke, Anders Hove as Gerner, Paprika Steen as Pernille, Mette Bratlann as Nina, Susanne Storm as Hanne, Ellen Hillingsø as Lykke, Sidse Babett Knudsen as Bibi, Sofie Stougaard as Lady of bakery
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