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 Has Alex's newfound love for Simone (who now plans to leave her needy but emotionally withdrawn spouse) magically made the rest of his life's relationships void?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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.