Reconstruction

"OK"

Reconstruction Review


It's a bad omen when, in a film's opening moments, the narrator intones, "It is all a film. It is all a construction." Underlining the fact that we're experiencing an artificial construct, besides being wholly obvious, reeks of film school preciousness, which, not surprisingly, is the general impression left by Danish filmmaker Christoffer Boe's Reconstruction, winner of the Camera d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Visually provocative and arrestingly atmospheric, Boe's debut feature is a quixotic rumination on destiny, passion, fidelity and the means by which love can be both all-consuming and all-negating. It's also an affected, oblique exercise in stylistic experimentation that, with its variety of camera tricks, duplicated scenes, and narrative circuitousness, is more apt to make one groan than swoon.

While out one evening with his doting girlfriend Simone (Maria Bonnevie), capricious photographer Alex (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) spies a striking young woman on a train platform and immediately ditches his companion to follow the unknown beauty. Tracking her to a bar and striking up a conversation, he learns that the woman's name is Aimee, and that she's in town for her husband August's (Krister Henriksson) book signing. After coyly discussing a mutual desire to escape their unfulfilling lives, the two head back to Aimee's hotel room for a night of intense lovemaking. Yet since Aimee, like Simone, is portrayed by actress Maria Bonnevie, it's apparent that not everything about this encounter is as it seems, a fact confirmed when, the next morning, Alex returns home to find that his apartment no longer exists and no one - not his landlady, his friend, his father, nor Simone - remembers him. Has Alex's newfound love for Simone (who now plans to leave her needy but emotionally withdrawn spouse) magically made the rest of his life's relationships void? Is Aimee a symbolic representation of the qualities Alex finds lacking in Simone? Is the entire film merely the distraught fictional storyline of the scorned August's book?

Boe leaves these central questions open to interpretation, all the while assembling his film - which seems equally indebted to Godard, Buñuel, Kieslowski and Claire Denis - with a swirling haze of Manuel Alberto Claro's grainy black-and-white and color cinematography, disconcerting sound design by Morton Green, symbolic interludes (shots of a man plummeting in the dark; bookend images of a magician making a cigarette float between his hands) and elliptical editing which blurs the line between what Alex recognizes as real and fantasy. Such stylistic inventiveness creates a mood of intriguing, forlorn mystery, as Alex's indecision over the true object of his desire - which could be the demure Simone, the alluring Aimee, or simply that singular sensation of falling in love - gives the third act a touch of melancholy. Yet Boe's aspiration to have the film's form reflect its content would be more successful if there was any significant substance lurking underneath its flashy exterior. The director is intent on providing airless ambience rather than forceful drama, thereby creating the impression that we're supposed to feel something profound even though there's nothing much to care about. Reconstruction ends the way it begins, with the narrator uttering, "It is all a film. It is all a construction. It still hurts." He's right on all counts.

Reconstruction starts with a hardback book.



Reconstruction

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th September 2003

Distributed by: Palm Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.