Just Another Love Story
Review by Michael Edwards
PART noir thriller, part twisted romance and part black comedy, Just Another Love Story is a heady mix of genres bound together with a wry self-awareness and some of the most impressive pieces of cinematography seen this year.
The film bursts onto the screen with astounding examples of all of the above. Three ‘standard love scenes’ are depicted: a man lies bleeding on the rain-soaked pavement, narrating the conventions of his cinematic demise; a man quakes in front of the camera as a gun is pointed at his chest, he moves it over his heart and it is fired; a frantic woman is fleeing in her car, but crashes, and tumbles for what feels like forever until she comes to rest.
It’s an intense start, and one which the film does its best to follow up. The ensuing scenes are centred on forensic photographer Jonas, whose marriage to Mette is not unhappy but is far from fully satisfying.
Like so many men before him, he is on the brink of a midlife crisis and just ‘wants something more’. When driving one day, arguing about whether or not they should have bought a new car, they break down in the middle of the road.
The hazards are turned on, but it’s not enough to prevent a distracted female driver from ploughing into the back of them and tumbling off into the distance.
Jonas rushes over to the scene and cradles the woman in his arms… and something clicks. After she is rushed to hospital he has to see her, but from here on things get very weird.
A sequence of events is triggered which sees Jonas pretending to be the now blinded woman’s boyfriend, and as he is sucked deeper and deeper into the delusion he finds events quickly spiral out of control.
Unfortunately, the noir elements lose control a little too. The twists and turns that make up the subsequent mystery are occasionally a little tough to swallow, even accompanied by self-conscious irony and the dark humour brought superbly by Jonas’s colleagues Frank (Dejan Cukic) and Poul (Karsten Jansfort).
Nonetheless, the consistently excellent cinematography and the superb way in which fact, fantasy and memory are merged by director Ole Bornedal (of 1997’s Nightwatch) make for compelling viewing. If you can cope with the film vacillating slightly on how serious it wants to be, you can get a lot out of this film.
In Danish, with subtitles
Running time: 100mins
UK DVD Release: October 5, 2009