An interesting, exotic, intense story that is not truly engaging
Less difficult to watch then The Hunt or Festen, Thomas Vinterberg's Kollektivet (The Commune) impresses with great cinematography and how successfully it seems to reconstruct the details of the sixties and seventies fashion in Copenhagen, Denmark. But at the same time, it fails to deliver a truly engaging story. It's an interesting story, it's an exotic story, but the situations presented are so unfamiliar for someone who hasn't even considered living in a commune that it simply makes the plot hard to relate to. The Danish director apparently grew in a commune, but that doesn't mean that the story is autobiographical. However, it is pretty obvious that such a subject couldn't be presented so convincingly by someone without the experience of living in a commune. European movies are more and more something of an alternative cinema treat and this movie is a quite a delight from that perspective. The alternative lifestyle of the protagonists is presented in such detail that it doesn't seem forced or artificial. Most of the characters have strong personalities, but these are kind of ignored, as the pace is too quick to stop for them. Ultimately, what truly sticks out in your memory hours even after watching the movie is a very sad love story. A story about allowing extreme changes to your lifestyle and then having to bear all the consequences, with all the associated happiness and tears. "Maybe this is what people use to do in the Northern parts of Europe, I don't know what to say" was the first reaction of someone in the audience that I overheard at the European Film Festival, after the Bucharest opening screening. I kind of agreed. It is quite difficult to relate to a movie about an extreme leftist commune from Denmark. However, if you like strange stories that show with great talent a historical time and place, then The Commune is something you might fully appreciate. Yes, the action could also take place in a more modern setting, as the world is full of communes. However, what really makes this movie watchable is the love invested in recreating the look & feel of a defunct 20th century decade as seen and felt in a Northern Europe capital by a truly talented and hard- working director.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?