In theatres this week from director/writer Ruben Ostlund and Magnolia Pictures is a vacation, of sorts, in FORCE MAJEURE.
This film tells the story of a Swedish family on holiday in the French Alps. Right behind their hotel are the majestic mountains and slopes for everyone to ski. While at lunch, Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), wife Ebba (Lisa Kongsli), daughter Vera (Clara Wettergren) and son Harry (Vincent Wettergren) are together when an avalanche hits.
Everyone runs as Ebba tries to throw herself around the children and Tomas is no where to be found. There is a quick recovery when everyone realizes that the avalanche stopped just before the hotel and Ebba is covered with only a light snowing.
Tomas also recovers quickly but it is Ebba that can not get over what happened. Feeling as if her husband betrayed them by running, she can not get Tomas to admit what he did. There marriage has been hit and Tomas must come clean about who he is.
That is an avalanche in itself!
FINAL WORD: Kuhnke as Tomas is a role that unravels hard. To be honest he just reminds me of a guy doing what guys do sometimes. They make a mistake, party till they drop and then accept the harsh reality that their life decisions are disappointing enough to blame everyone else but themselves. Gawd, that felt good to type!
Kongsli as wife Ebba come to her reality that the knight in shining armor she married has more chinks in its metal than metal! Now she’s disappointed with her life choices like having children and being burdened to sleep with the same guy night after night that she’s choking on her own choices.
Sorry kids, you’re parents are screwed up and the opportunity to act like spoiled unruly brats is totally yours for the taking. There guilt means you get to annoy and, whenever possible, use there craziness to your advantage.
Other cast include: Brady Corbet, Jakob Granqvist, Fanni Metelius and Kristofer Hivju.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FORCE MAJEURE three tubs of popcorn out of five. There are some funny moments here but not enough for me to pay attention for long. So the guy jetted during an avalanche! Personally I think everyone there ought to have their heads examined for not leaving sooner. I mean seriously, did it have to come up that far become panic set in? I would have been out of there much sooner – like when I first saw it happening!
As for the relationship between the husband and wife, that was a hot mess from the moment they came on screen. They were blinded by their own unhappiness which is why their kids drove me crazy. Kind of like the unhappy parents in my condo who let their kids run ragged and annoy everyone else who DIDN’T give birth to them.
Their friends were the funny moments as they found themselves wrapped up in Tomas and Ebba’s problems. I kept thinking, “HEY YOU TWO! Repeat after me – not my monkey, not my circus, not my monkey, not my circus”. Of course if they had the scene between them would have been shorter and I’d have to listen to Tomas and Ebba go at it again.
So yes, the film had its enjoyable points and I could babble on about the human condition but why.
In the end – some avalanches stop too soon!