ID:A Christian E. Christiansen

ID:A Christian E. Christiansen
6
In simplified, reductionist terms, ID:A, Christian E. Christiansen's follow-up to the awkwardly executed thriller-cum-gender-play, The Roommate, is essentially a remake of the original Bourne Identity with a female protagonist sans mysterious fighting capabilities standing in for Matt Damon and an American studio budget. The titular Ida (Tuva Novotny) awakens in a riverbed, bloodied and suffering amnesia, and proceeds to put together the pieces of how she woke up there holding onto a bag full of two-million euros. She stumbles into a local French inn where she learns that local politician Ugo Marshall was assassinated by a young man sharing her wardrobe description. A few contrivances later and Ida has discovered she's Danish and, in fact, married to famed musician Just Ore (Flemming Enevold), who claims that her disappearance was a devastating blow, yet clearly not one devastating enough to interrupt his concert schedule. Though character behaviours and a trajectory of political commentary about an underground communist group ultimately spell out the mystery long before the half-hour flashback fills in the many obvious holes, the general lack of a twist or a bigger elaborate conspiracy does prove compelling through sheer resistance of narrative sensationalism. The violence is still there, as is the inevitable exploitation of trust as a thematic guide for an amnesiac's quest, but the story, while unbelievable and peculiar at times, is more interested in assessing patriarchal institutions than playing mind games. Ida's power isn't that of superhero strength or kung-fu abilities rather, she has a keen sense of intuition. She's aided in her quest for identity by a transsexual man and her homosexual brother, all of whom reiterate the need for peripheral members of society to stick together when fighting an oppressive male construct. This metaphor is made literal by the many well-constructed chase sequences—men are constantly chasing and attacking Ida—but is hindered by a rather glib alignment with communist beliefs. Still, despite these art house inclinations, ID:A is essentially an action thriller, playing with gender roles and the reading of situations to guide its mystery in a less conventional direction. No supplements are included with the DVD, which isn't surprising for a Scandinavian release of a movie that never made it to North American theatres. (Shout! Factory)