Rated: R for sexuality and language Reviewed by: Jim Release date: May 16, 2008 Released by: Miramax
This passionate Norweigan film from helmer Joachim Trier demonstrates how destiny and free will may co-exist. He does look to have the skills of a pointed filmmaker even if pushing the envelope a bit. A talk-show bit concerning one of the main characters shows he can effortlessly stage a witty scene.
Perhaps the varied Reprise suffers too much from being self-conscious. Not, however, from the lead performances by Anders Danielsen Lie and Espen Klouman-Hoiner.
They are, respectively, Phillip and Erik, early twenty-somethings who have put their first works in for publishing. Philip has success in his submission, yet a half-year later it has led to a nervous breakdown. Once out of the hospital the two writers renew their friendship as Erik starts on another book while Philip tries to reignite a romance with Kari (Viktoria Winge).
Trier aggressively works with editor to keep the plotting as ebullient as possible with swift "what-if" scenarios and sudden transitions to illuminate the characters thoughts and feelings. It might be a novel approach for some, yet rather loquacious in the execution, overbearing in the voice-over department.
Reprise diligently manages the emotional moments with the wistful ones as the visages convey a lot in the nuances of daily life. Will Erik and Phillip get back on track with their friendship, and will the latter find enough tenderness with his lover?
Maybe Trier is influenced much by namesake Lars or those Scandanavians like Susanne Bier who have utilized the Dogma format to a real, naturalistic effect. There is enough zest in the characterizations for sustained viewer interest as the intriguing, yet distant mood and sometimes hyped-up narrative is maybe overly clever.
In the end, if the payoff doesn't resonate with poignancy like films like Brothers or Amelie, the gimmicky, if stimulatingly vogue nature can't mask the idea of time not healing all wounds.