Now, I like weird, I like unusual, I like quirky but this movie doing some insane stuff I didn't even liked.

I am not even slightly exaggerating when I'm saying that I was absolutely loving this movie for its first 30 minutes or so. I really liked the raw approach of the movie and its drama and the way it got shot. It had a great visual and also original style to it, which reminded me of some true guerrilla-style of film-making, with quick cuts and an always moving- and hand-held camera. The movie made the impression as if most of it was thought up at the spot. I'm not just talking about the way the camera swirls around but also about most of its dialog and of the way the story was progressing. And it's a Lars von Trier movie, so lots of it was probably indeed improvised on the spot but this only really seems to be the case for the first 30/45 minutes of the movie.

After that the story and the movie its style and tone changes. Suddenly some musical elements start to kick in, which is something that still could had worked for me, if the songs had been any good. But man, were they annoying. There is no clear melody in any of them and nothing memorable is being sung.

But also the story itself is suddenly taking a far more straightforward, dramatic approach, instead of coming across as a realistic, random slice of life. The developments that start to happen in this movie just weren't any ones I was really pleased with. I know Lars von Trier is a type of director that likes to tell stories in which when something starts to go wrong for a person, everything goes wrong and no person can ever be trusted. I however felt in this case that it just wasn't all that convincing and at a certain point I even simply stopped caring for its main character because she isn't really always doing the smartest things.

The main character is basically a very naive person, who probably trust people far too easily. On the one hand this makes her very likable and sympathetic, since she comes across as a happy-go-lucky type of girl, who is always focusing on the positive things on life but on the other it's what also makes her a bit annoying at times, also because of some of the, all too obvious, stupid choices she makes.

I don't really think you could fault Björk for any of this. It was just the way her character was being written and for most of the time Björk is playing it very well, especially when considering she wasn't really an actress to being with. Björk, the popular Icelandic singer, did not made her debut in this movie but it was the first time she was playing with some already established names in the business. In that regard, she did really well, though she is also still dropping the ball a bit at times. It seems that she was great and feeling comfortable improvising but when she had to remember lines and say them in the movie, she was having some more difficulties. Her unusual accent also really makes it sound as if she had no idea what she was saying, most of the time.

But obviously I could still really appreciate this movie and have lots of respect for it. It's mostly because "Dancer in the Dark" is a movie like no other. It's being original with its style and approach, I just didn't ended up liking EVERYTHING this movie was doing but that of course doesn't mean that other people will do so as well. There are still plenty of people out there who like the movie in every aspect, so it seems I'm actually in a minority here, for not loving the movie.

I still really liked it but I wish I could love it as much as most other people seem to do.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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