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10/10
Efter brylluppet
(After the Wedding)
Dir: Susanne Bier
2006

Efter bylluppet is a gripping, twisted fairytale. Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen), a volunteer worker in India, goes back to Denmark to persuade the millionaire Jørgen (Rolf Lassgård) to fund his humanitarian project. Jacob, a lost idealist, resents having to leave his new family and grovel for money from a rich man who does not really care about his cause. The stereotypes are set up.

When the rich businessman asks the lost idealist to his daughter's wedding, the plot begins to unfold, and these two diametrically opposed characters are brought together by a common past. Now the characters and plot have been set in motion.

From here the film becomes an explosive, emotional journey of discovery, manipulation and choices. Jørgen's bad-guy stereotype begins to crumble down and the single-minded, humanitarian Jacob is drawn into an entangled world of unknown responsibilities and meaning. Children become men, and men become children. Characters grow up, whilst others break down. The whole film is a roller coaster of emotions and human complexities. You forgive the script all of its contrivance because of the intensity it musters and the winding it continually submits you to.

The quality of the acting, across the whole cast, is fantastic. The characters and situations leave you feeling raw, drunk with humanity, and bewildered. A Danish theatrical and cinematographic tour de force in which it matters little that you notice the set changes and curtain strings. After the Wedding is a film full of honesty and dishonesty. It questions life decisions, juxtaposes worlds, creates dilemmas and breaks down stereotypes.

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