TRUTH OR SPIN?
When the leader of a Danish political party falls into a coma after a car crash, journalist Ulrik Torp (Anders W. Berthelsen) is dragged into a power struggle between two candidates hoping to be anointed new leader. Director Nikolaj Arcel’s debut got both awards and rave reviews in his country; based on a book detailing the turmoil that affected a real Danish party some years ago, the film is well worth a look. It would have been so easy for the filmmakers to lose control of the story and turn it into an overblown thriller, but they maintain a firm grip on reality. Critical of politicians and the media in an intelligent way; generally good performances all around.
2004-Denmark-Sweden. 107 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Meta Louise Foldager. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. Screenplay: Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg. Novel: Niels Krause-Kjaer. Cast: Anders W. Berthelsen (Ulrik Torp), Søren Pilmark (Erik Dreier Jensen), Nastja Arcel (Lone Kjeldsen), Nicolas Bro, Lars Mikkelsen, Ulf Pilgaard.
Trivia: Original title: Kongekabale. The character of Jensen is allegedly based on former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Last word: “My first film was a political thriller that I researched for a long time, and I found out that politics are just a whole another reality than what you think. Everything is so steeped in bureaucracy and going through channels, and it’s very hard to make any laws and do anything and make any decisions.” (Arcel, Open Letters Monthly)