Nothing sounds more tedious than listening to an aspiring artist tell the story of trying to make it in the world as an artist. This was the purpose that drove Joachim Trier to create this clever and poignant film, ‘Reprise.’ The film follows two best friends Phillip and Erik as they submit their novels to be published. One’s is accepted by a publisher, one is not. And each is left to face with the consequences of celebrity, or lack thereof.
Knowing the pretenses of the film, my expectations were not high at all. Not to mention I’m hesitant of Scandinavian films altogether (the film and it’s director are Norwegian) thanks to Lars Von Trier (Dancer in the Dark). But I was quickly impressed by the style of Joachim and the quick pace ‘Reprise.’ If I had to relate him to a more mainstream director, I’d call him a pessimistic Wes Anderson. Trier deftly uses ironic narration, flashbacks and fantasy scenes to develop characters in a similar way to Anderson.
Joachim co-wrote the film as well as directed. The writing doesn’t waste words. It’s fresh and concise and never fails to impress albeit sometimes unapologetically misogynistic. At one point, one of the characters calls women “under-stimulated, bourgeois retards” who can only distract the anointed, august men from their lofty projects of ambition, if not literature. That noted, women in the film play an equally important part as our male protagonists.
The film doesn’t exactly break new ground, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable, quick-paced and will actually inspire a little introspection.
Playing at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.
Filmed in Norwegian with Subtitles.