Just Another Love Story
Anders W Bertelsen, Rebecka Hemse, Nikolaj Lie Kaas / Fiction / Danish
A brilliantly bizarre, visceral noir thriller from Denmark.
?A car crash scene can be a tremendous cinematic coup-de-théatre; from the shot in Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend that tracks casually along a traffic jam to the outrageous corpse-strewn accident which has caused it, to the fume-choked fumbles of Cronenberg’s Crash and the pivotal pile-up in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, traffic accidents interrupt the flow of human lives and enforce permanent bonds of shared trauma upon otherwise unconnected individuals. In Ole Bornedal’s stylish and powerfully unsettling Just Another Love Story, the titular romance commences after a violent traffic incident. A young woman, Julia (Rebecka Hemse) ploughs into the back of a family car driven by Jonas (Anders W Berthelsen). Jonas flees to her side, and an obsession is triggered; as she lies comatose in hospital, he’s compelled to visit her. To gain admittance he pretends to be her boyfriend, and when family members take him for her long-standing but mysterious partner Sebastien, the lie becomes too complex to correct. The ensuing confusion initially recalls Jon Turteltaub‘s 1995 Hollywood confection While You Were Sleeping, in which Sandra Bullock semi-advertently established herself as a fixture in the life of an attractive stranger while he lay unconscious in hospital. But like that Godard panning shot, Bornedal’s film shifts gradually from the dark-tinged everyday to the gorily intense once Julia and her compromised memory swim back into consciousness. Then there’s the real Sebastien (played by Danish cinema’s go-to sexy bad guy, Nikolaj Lie Kass), whose reappearance not only exposes Jonas’ lie, but prompts a total re-evaluation of what Julia is – or was. An intense and entertaining spin on the Hitchcockian mistaken-identity thriller, Just Another Love Story also takes irreverent issue with the notion of true love: is it a soul connection, or merely a case of right place, right time, right synapses firing?
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