Fear Me Not

Posted on July 10, 2013

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The marketing for this 2008 Danish film reminded me of The Vanishing, a 1993 Kiefer Sutherland movie, and Breakdown, a 1997 Kurt Russell movie.

Sadly, it is not a bleak, Danish, version of either one.

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Verdict

Frustrating because of what it could have been, but wasn’t.

More

I have the impression that American film studios tend to soften the endings of their movies. They steer away from bleak, nihilistic, viewpoints. Tragedy must have a hopeful lesson, and realism is a slave to neat happy endings.

As a result, I often look for movies made outside the United States so I can experience something starker, or at least see things through another culture’s lens.

I do not always enjoy myself. Movies are not automatically good just because they are foreign. This is just such a case.

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Mikael (Ulrich Thomsen) is withdrawn and pensive. At the encouragement of family and friends, he enrolls in a trial of a new anti-depressant. He likes the results, and when the trial ends, he continues taking them. Eventually, he grows violent.

Fear Me Not started off making me think that Mikael was growing dissatisfied with being a suburban dad, and something darker was struggling to0 burst into the world.

Then I thought it was going to be a cutting look at the over-prescription and abuse of anti-depressants.

Then it turned out that Mikael was just a dick.

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You probably know someone who is pretty nice, until he (or she) gets drunk. That mean, belligerent, violent person is always there, the alcohol just lets that person loose. There’s still a part of me that wants to be bulletproof and immortal, which is why I avoid drinking to excess.

Mikael was always a cruel person. The anti-depressants just gave him an excuse to indulge in a more aggressive, abusive, dominant persona.

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So my advice is that you avoid this. See The Vanishing (or the original Dutch film, Spoorloos) or Breakdown instead.

Unless you need an excuse to brush up on your Danish.

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Posted in: Movies, Uncategorized