How to Get Rid of the Others Anders Rønnow Klarlund

How to Get Rid of the Others Anders Rønnow Klarlund
Scandinavians and Danes, in particular, do dark comedy really well. One of cinema's best and least known writers is the prolific Anders Thomas Jensen (Adam's Apples, The Green Butchers). Even Lars Von Trier has made some wildly comic films. In the tradition of Von Trier's The Idiots arrives this high concept, absurd, anarchic comedy about a new Danish law that allows the government to try and execute the nation's bottom feeders and freeloaders for receiving more from society than they have given — an extreme exercise on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophical treatise The Social Contract. It's a ridiculous idea but a concept that could have produced a thought-provoking examination of our personal morals and the responsibility of a social democratic government to its people. An early tone of social irresponsibility reminiscent of great black comedies such as Man Bites Dog and Battle Royale is set early but like the bad title, it's a poor translation of idea to screen, as good intentions go awry quickly, never to recover. The entire film is set in a classroom turned military prison where a group of those freeloaders has been assembled for interrogation and ultimately, execution at the hands of a sadistic officer, Christian (Soren Pilmark). Over the first 45 minutes so little progress is made in terms of plot or character that we're never sure who the protagonist is, who we're rooting for or what the purpose of this exercise is. Do we want the freeloaders to escape back into society or do we revel in the sick brutality of this absurd endeavour? The film never takes a stand. A gruesome finale tries to go to darker places but without any laughs before it the climax comes off as ugly. Thank God no extras exist on the disc — no one needs to spend any more of their time thinking about this film. (Paradox)