Sunday, May 22, 2011

Four More Years

Direct: Tova Magnusson-Norling
Writer: Wilhelm Behrman
Stars:Björn Kjellman, Eric Ericson and Tova Magnusson-Norling
Original Title: Fyra år till
Country of Origin: Sweden
Production Year: 2010
First Release: November 26, 2010
Language: Swedish
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 90 min

I don’t really understand why I waste my time watching those useless films when there are perfectly important film waiting to be seen. The other day, as I sat down to see a film, I had two choices, both from Sweden/Denmark (Scandinavia). The first one was this year’s Oscar winner, In a Better World (2010), and the second one a gay comedy involving a middle-aged politician, pitched as a coming-of-story, Four More Years (Fyra år till, 2010). I couldn’t see the Oscar winner for more than 10 minutes, it was so pretentious (Perhaps I need to see it again and figure it out, it won the award after all.). The other movie, however, I attended from beginning to end and I am sad to report that the film wasn’t worth it. All through the running time, I was cursing the makers, how they spoilt a fantastic opportunity. They had good actors, and the film is shot like a blockbuster. Everything was there except a powerful script. What a waste!

Middle-aged David Holst had perfect life till recently when he was pitched to be country’s next president. He is mild-manner, sweet, little clumsy, and perhaps a little daft, and perhaps a little more effeminate than he would like. He helped by his wife, and an assistant without whom he’d be lost. Then things begin to spiral down. His popularity takes a dip and he is on the verge of losing his seat in the parliament. To make the matter worse, inexplicably he becomes attracted to Martin, a suave and smart politician from the opposition party. Martin is out gay and has been recently dumped by his partner. How convenient!

David pursues Martin and we realise that the attraction is mutual. They sleep together and falls in love. But they cannot talk their affair, for one thing they belong to rival parties, for another, David’s political career is at stake. You know what happens in the end. They live happily ever after. But you want to enjoy the process how these characters get there. Here lies the problems. The film contains situations to create rifts between the lover, but these conflicts are too superficial, so much so that we don’t really care. Even when there were potential for dramatic moments, the film underplays it. Imagine, here’s a middle-aged man who had no idea about his sexual orientation till recently whereas his wife knew that he was gay a long time ago. Yet, she continued to him. And when the revelation comes they accept the facts coolly, as if it was no big deal. Phew.

IMDB rates the film at 6.3 out of 10; this perhaps due to the performance of Björn Kjellman as David, who has a charming presence. He makes this character of a bumbling man who had no clues about his sexual orientation believable to a great extent, and thanks to him, the film does not fail completely.

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