Having already enjoyed two films directed by Danish born film director Susanne Bier, the first was Brothers (2004) and the second was the Academy Award winning In a Better World (2010) which starred the Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt who can presently be seen in the BBC4 series Beck, I was looking forward to seeing her 2006 movie After the Wedding and was not to be disappointed as the director had certainly maintained her normal extraordinary high standard.
|A man with a hidden agenda .|
Jacob Petersen heads an Indian based orphanage and his work helps to save many vulnerable young street children. An honourable man but a loner who because of his chosen career is compelled to forgo mature relationships, but a man with a past but one that would appear to be happy with his situation. When the orphanage is threatened by closure, he receives an unusual offer. A Danish businessman, Jørgen Lennart Hansson, offers him a donation of $4 million dollars. There are, however, certain conditions and Jørgen’s motives are not what they seem. Not only must Jacob return to Denmark, he must also attend the wedding of Jørgen's daughter. The wedding proves to be a critical juncture between past and future and catapults Jacob into the most intense dilemma of his life. Family secrets will be revealed along with Jørgen’s well intentioned hidden agenda, but does it give Jørgen Hansson the right to control other people's lives even those close to him and will it be morally justifiable and does the end result justify the means?
|The sensitive daughter.|
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, only loosing out to the German movie The Lives of Others (2006), After The Wedding is chock fall of believable characters that are beautifully portrayed by all four lead actors. For example a sensitive portrayal of the daughter by Stine Fischer Christensen, Mads Mikkelson’s melancholy depiction of the troubled and intense Jacob, Rolf Lassgard powerful interpretation of the rich businessman and Sidse Babett Knudson as Helene Hansson torn between Jørgen her husband and a previous relationship. All four, as well as the supporting actors, display the essence of natural acting, proving that it is the key to the great performances in this film and also proves how important casting was for the portrayal of Anders Thomas Jensen’s screenplay. Screen International described it as not only a powerful compelling drama but complex and gripping. Emotional, but never melodramatic it underlines the difference between the poverty of India and privilege of Jørgen and his family. I would sincerely recommend that lovers of a well told, brilliantly acted, superbly directed drama should not miss a chance to see this movie.