Coming to VOD this week from director Jonas Alexander Arnby and Screen Media is a journey of life and death when one has an EXIT PLAN.
Max Isaken (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is an insurance adjuster who tries to help people with their claims. That is until one day he finds himself in the hospital being told that he has a brain tumor. Wife Laerke (Tuva Novotny) is trying to do everything to make Max deal with the situation he is in but finds he is closing himself off to everyone.
Going back to work doesn’t seem to be an option as Max decides that he wants to take control of his life. In helping a previous client, he learns about the Hotel Aurora, a place where people who have illness go to work out their feelings.
As the days go by Max cannot seem to find a peaceful place within himself, especially when the hotel has a secretiveness about it. He begins to explore, and the management isn’t happy about where he goes or what he sees.
It does not change the medical problems Max faces when the line between reality and fantasy start to blur. Max begins to question his life, thoughts and plans especially when missing Laerke and their life together.
Sometimes what we think is real and what is real are both a scary place.
Coster-Waldau as Max has had time to shed his Jamie Lannister armor and get gritty in another way. As this character, he shows every bit of emotion on his face. Since Max seems to be a man of few words, we follow the emotion and it takes us all on a journey through his life, love, empathy and what happens when we make a hasty decision. The ending is trippy but it couldn’t have been any other way.
Novotny as Laerke is trying to make her man’s life easier but when he does not communicate much it becomes difficult. As the viewer I begin to question her presence in all of it and that is a conversation for later after everyone has seen the film.
Shout out to Robert Aramayo as Ari, a young man who sees Max as a friend. He’s not the only one that does as Max puts out an air that is endearing, especially when they all share the same reason for being at the hotel.
Other cast include: Jan Bijvoet as Frank, Sonja Richter as Alice, Johanna Woklek as Linda, Kaya Wilkins as Mia, Slimane Dazi as Francois, Mette Lysdahl as Kirstine, Solbjorg Hojfeldt as Karen and Vibeke Hastrup as the Doctor.
Screen Media is an international distributor of television series and films, licensing content through theatrical, home video, pay-per-view, free, cable and pay television, and subscription and advertising video-on-demand platforms. In 2017 Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. acquired Screen Media which is in its 23rd year as a leading global independent distribution company. The company is continually looking to add films and television series to its content library. For more information please visit www.screenmedia.com.
EXIT PLAN is in the same vein as films like THE FOUNTAIN in which you, the viewer, must decide what is real and what is a reality used to protect from fear and anxiety. There is something quite beautiful in this story and perhaps it is because there are decisions in the film that must be made and once done – call for rethinking at such a personal cost.
The film itself tells a very slow story and it not encumbered by anything like noise, car blasts, etc., but instead keep it calm and quiet which for me was just as disturbing. It forces the characters to deal with their issues without anything getting in the way. If anything does you can be sure its whatever is in their own minds.
Coster-Waldau gives us the saddest person in character. Even if the character attempts a smile it is only to make someone else less uncomfortable (which does not work to my way of thinking). Throughout the film it is a struggle along with Max to find one moment of happiness in the midst of what can only be described as nothingness. Strange to be sure but oh so worth the watch.
In the end – is death the only way out?