Movie Review VI
A group of university students are trying to film a documentary about the notorious bear poacher Hans. Stymied by his refusal to talk to him, they follow him into the woods one night and find far more than they were expecting.
This is a Norwegian film. That made it a little difficult to watch at first. During the opening credits I kept having Monty Python and the Holy Grail flashbacks, and I kept expecting a segue into 10,000 llamas. Once I got over that it was a quite good movie. It’s shot from the perspective of the university student running the camera, so it’s very much a fake documentary. One thing I really like about it is that it doesn’t shift away from the fake documentary feel. It was sort of an action movie, but it never felt like an action movie. It felt like a documentary done by some college students all the way through the movie [+]. I don’t think I’m giving much away when I tell you that Hans actually hunts trolls for the Norwegian government. So there’s a troll chasing them through the woods which he turns to stone by luring it in front of a bank of powerful ultraviolet lights. But afterwards you see him using a jackhammer and dynamite to turn the troll statue into gravel. There’s the action sequence, and then you have to clean up.
I liked the characters too, which was odd because they were rather one dimensional. Take Hans: he’s your basic over worked and under paid civil servant. That’s all he is. But by a combination of Otto Jespersen playing the character very well [+] and the director/writer André Øvredal showing moments of him just living [+] (eating lunch, an intimate moment with a vet who does analysis of troll blood) the stereotype is brought to life without ever leaving it’s bounds.
Some of the humor in the movie gets in the way, because it’s about confronting people with the absurdity of what’s going on, and it’s just too absurd. There’s a scene where a government manager messes up some fake bear tracks by getting the left and right feet backwards. Which is quite funny considering some the government managers I’ve known, but the scene where people notice this is just so ludicrous it breaks down the sense of reality [-].
Final Rating: 6/10
Best Quote: I’m going to have to pass on this. I’ve been assuming I could depend on IMDB for this section, but that is clearly not the case. Hans had some good quotes on being a civil servant that aren’t there but I can’t remember very well. I promise to take better notes from now on.