Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Accused [Anklaget] Review

Director: Jacob Thuesen

Writer: Kim Fupz Aakeson

Starring: Troels Lyby, Sofie Gråbøl, Paw Henriksen, Louise Mieritz, Søren Malling

Synopsis: Henrik (Lyby) lives a normal life with his wife (Gråbøl) and daughter yet when the latter accuses him of sexual abuse his world shatters around him. Everyone begins to question his innocence, to a point where even Henrik wonders about it all.

Following hot on the heels of recent Nordic hits such as A Hijacking and The Hunt, Accused hasn’t the power or poignancy to better the Vinterburg greats, but it’s still a moving and dramatic addition to the catalogue.

Having The Hunt’s shadow hanging unforgettably over it, Accused will struggle to seem fresh. Even with the film premiering back in 2005 the DVD release works as an accompanying piece to the Vinterburg film. As it stands – in absence of The Hunt’s hype – it’s a memorable movie, just slightly out of league with what Mikkelsen and Vinterburg accomplished. Accused does, however, explore its psychological basis in such an interesting way that you feverishly await the conclusion.

Troels Lyby as Henrik begins as an innocent, average man; he quickly changes once his daughter tells an apparent lie about sexual abuse. Much like The Hunt it’s the evolution of this lie and its effect that draws you in. To clarify how Accused is not a carbon-copy of the Mads Mikkelsen thriller, the question of innocence is never as clear-cut as The Hunt. Lyby plays the part frighteningly well – unreadable to a degree where absolute anything could be revealed.

As a character piece it’s wonderful, with a brief turn from Søren Malling as Henrik’s lawyer, strangely unconcerned about what the abuse claims means to his working relationship with Henrik. His brief but important role capitalises on the film’s underlying message that this type of story is scarily common.

It’s not a film to competently address the issues of child molestation – as Henrik is predominantly shown as the victim of a “lie” – yet it incontestably depicts the distress of the subject. Further to that, the blue-tinged look of the film adds to the melancholy aspect of it all, and draws attention to the Nordic Noir style, fast becoming an exciting and unmissable genre.
Also posted on LiveForFilms

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