Troubled Water Erik Poppe

Troubled Water Erik Poppe
It's not surprising that Troubled Water, Erik Poppe's follow-up to the little seen Hawaii, Oslo, was optioned for an American remake. There is a broad accessibility, slow building of tension and simplicity in motivation that less discerning audiences can appreciate and invest in, ensuring wider appeal than niche art-house groups. But where the remake will surely milk the thriller component of the narrative, the Norwegian original focuses more on characterization and the mysteriousness of reaction without explanation, with Jan Thomas (Pal Sverre Valheim Hagen) finding employment as a church organist after his release from prison for allegedly killing a child. He is meek and contemplative almost as often as he is cocky, leaving interpretation in question as he denies full responsibility for his crime, while bonding with Anna (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), a comely priest, and her son, Jens (Fredrik Grondahl). The development of this relationship comprises much of the first half of the film, with occasional unexplained plot holes leaving a sense of unease. This is intentional, as the perspective shifts in the latter half of the film when time steps back to show how Jan's parole affects Agnes (Trine Dyrholm), the mother of the deceased child. The mirrored stories complement this tale of atonement on an emotional level, knowing that audiences will identify with the grieving mother, ignoring Jan's development, if she is introduced too early. It also provides a sense of foreboding, as we know the disturbing outcome of her curiosities in advance. While the convenient climax leaves a bit to be desired, the film, on the whole, is nothing short of absorbing and powerful from beginning to end. Because this is part of the Film Movement collection, a short film is included with the DVD in the form of The Kolaborator, directed by Chris Bessounian. It mirrors soccer with wartime decisions. Blah. (Film Movement)