After the Wedding | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, June 22nd, 2024  

After the Wedding

Studio: IFC Films
Directed by: Susanne Bier; Story: Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen; Script: Anders Thomas Jensen; Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Stine Fischer Christensen

Apr 27, 2007 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Filmgoers who remember Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves (1996) and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration (1998) might feel a twinge of nostalgia while viewing After the Wedding, a captivating Danish drama that was a Best Foreign Language Film nominee at this year’s Academy Awards. Shot on hand-held video and employing frequent jump cuts, After the Wedding bears a stylistic affinity with the aforementioned films and the Dogme 95 aesthetic. Von Trier and Vinterberg were two of the founding members of Dogme 95, a collective that authored a manifesto to counter the increasing excesses of post-production and CGI effects in contemporary films, while also calling for a set of 10 production rules to ground directors as the digital film revolution progressed. Von Trier announced the objectives of the movement at a 1995 Paris conference in honor of cinema’s 100th anniversary. Dogme 95 films didn’t break cinematic ground the way that Italian neorealism or the French New Wave did, but they did revive some of the tenets of those genres by aiming to restore the integrity of story, performance and naturalistic filmmaking in the era of Titanic (1997) and The Matrix (1999).

After the Wedding director Susanne Bier’s 2002 film Open Hearts was released with a Dogme 95 certificate, but rather than assuming Danish films have a singular look or feel, it’s more reasonable to deduce that Bier has since embraced some of the techniques she adopted for Open Hearts to meet Dogme 95 criteria, which forbids use of artificial light, props and score on the soundtrack. After the Wedding is not a Dogme film, however, and that’s clear from the outset, for it begins with a slow, lyrical montage to Sigur Ros’ “Vaka.” Impressionistic shots of skin affectionately being stroked, by candlelight, are interspersed with an expository setup in India. It’s an effective overture for a film that’s alternately mysterious, dramatic, and sad, yet ultimately life-affirming.

Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen) is a Dane working at an underfunded orphanage in Mumbai (Bombay in the film), where he has developed a close bond with the children and is a father figure to a young boy named Pramod. When a benefactor in Denmark contacts the orphanage about a possible donation of $4 million, Jacob plans a return to his native country to make a presentation on behalf of the orphanage, which could be shut down at any moment. Jacob promises Pramod that he will return in a week for his eighth birthday, but complications arise in Copenhagen when Jacob meets with Jørgen (Rolf Lassgård), a burly man of wealth who manipulates Jacob into staying in Denmark. Jacob is armed with facts and statistics that detail the plight of children in Bombay and their vulnerability to prostitution and drug addiction, but Jørgen is disaffected and, before making a decision, insists that Jacob attend his daughter’s wedding that weekend. Jacob reluctantly accepts the invitation, but his presence at the wedding proves to be the catalyst for an unveiling of weighty family secrets.

The ensuing events at first might seem to piece together too conveniently, but Bier and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen remain a step ahead, keeping some surprises under wraps until we’ve invested in the characters. One of the purported advantages of shooting on video is that the actors are allowed more freedom, and that appears to be evident here, as the performances are excellent across the board. Mikkelsen, with his weary, sun-bronzed face, stern eyes and prominent cheekbones, epitomizes a compromised idealist in Jacob. His words and demeanor are those of a fighter, but there are lost battles in his eyes. With the appearance of someone who has toiled in the streets, Jacob is a foil to the bearish, baritone-voiced Jørgen, a billionaire businessman who embraces the comforts of power and dwarfs Jacob in stature.

Wisely, Bier and Jensen don’t introduce Jørgen as a corporate heavy, but as a dutiful patriarch who reads to his children at night, provides a home for his mother and still flirts with his wife. He is a character that is meticulously revealed as the plot progresses, and Lassgård remains in perfect step, commandingly imparting Jørgen’s pride and also his infuriating caginess. Caught in the middle of Jacob and Jørgen’s tug of war are Jørgen’s wife Helene and his daughter Anna. Sidse Babett Knudsen exhibits both strength and restraint as Helene, who, in her attempt to prevent things from boiling over, must keep her own emotions in check, and Stine Fischer Christensen is luminous as Anna, the endearing bride whose life is turned upside down in the days following her wedding.

Although the actors likely benefited from the hand-held video approach, the visual characteristics of the film, as a whole, are not on par with the performances. A few of Bier’s shots are dizzying and distracting, a perennial complaint with verité, which has been mocked to no end. Too often she indulges in extreme close-up, fixating on lips and, in particular, single eyeballs. Some shots, notably exteriors, look gorgeous, like the reddish hues of the scenes in Bombay, or the bluish poolside conversations that occur at Jørgen’s estate. But the interior scenes occasionally shout low-budget art film, substantiating the notion that video filmmaking is still better suited for television, which has commercialized verité over the last two decades. And because After the Wedding shares some structural similarities with The Celebration, Bier’s film sometimes feels familiar.

At its core, though, After the Wedding is a thoughtful and emotional story that challenges traditional notions of commitment and virtue. Its characters face difficult, life-altering decisions, and values are jeopardized in their effort to seek renewal. More significant than any stylistic methods, the resounding accomplishment of Bier and the cast is that the film is graced with human spirit and compassion.

Author rating: 7/10

Rate this movie
Average reader rating: 0/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Hawaii Weddings
November 28th 2009

I think its worth it to spend some alone married time, enjoy the magic of being a newly wed, you can never get that time back and it really is amazing, even if you’ve lived together before you married, everything changes once those rings go on your fingers and you really get to know the person you have married in those first few years.

Wedding Photographer
December 19th 2009

Sound like a great film:)

men dinner jackets
February 25th 2010

My fiance and I are getting married next year in Las Vegas and will have about 50 guests attending. We are getting married at a chapel near the strip (3pm), but have not made plans on any events after the ceremony. Any ideas? We’re trying to keep it relatively inexpensive

ralph lauren tuxedo
March 17th 2010

i wanted to be with her, but she did want to be with me. so i was heartbroken ralph lauren tuxedo and went back to being with my girlfriend. all the while i was still in love with the girl on the side even though she didnt want me. so i cut contact with the GOTS(girl on the side) and concentrated on being the best man for my girlfriend.

salt lake restaurants
April 13th 2010

A Danish corporation offers a substantial donation to maintain the orphanage, but Jacob is told that he must return to Denmark (where he grew up) to receive the funds. Apparently the CEO, Jørgen Hannson, wishes to meet Jacob and shake his hand.

Wedding MC Jokes
April 24th 2010

After the Wedding is not a Dogme film, however, and that’s clear from the outset, for it begins with a slow, lyrical montage

gold rings
April 30th 2010

During the ceremony, Helene, Jørgen’s wife, notices Jacob, and steals surreptitious glances at him, unable to believe her eyes. They are formally introduced during the reception, though both of them already confirmed each other’s identity.

Wedding Entertainment
September 6th 2010

I’m planning to surprise the bride in June she is marrying in august. she decided to plan a party right after. is it okay to have a party before the wedding?

Wedding Suits
September 28th 2010

My wedding is a month away and we received our first gift yesterday. I feel like I should send a thank you now but I was told I should wait until after the wedding. What is the proper thing to do?

mobilya dekorasyon
November 30th 2010

kek tuhan admins

January 10th 2011

Impressionistic shots of skin affectionately being stroked, by candlelight, are interspersed with an expository setup in India. It’s an effective overture for a film that’s alternately mysterious, dramatic, and sad, yet ultimately life-affirming.”Rolex Prices

wedding place card holder favors
May 14th 2011

Synopsis: Humanitarian Jacob Pedersen (Mads Mikkelsen) manages an orphanage in a poverty-stricken part of India. Dedicated to his work, he reluctantly returns to his native Denmark to meet billionaire businessman Jorgen Hannson (Rolf Lassgård).Hannson has expressed interest in Jacob’s cause, and considers a generous donation that would prevent Jacob’s nearly bankrupt orphanage from closing.At first Jacob feels only contempt for the filthy-rich and seemingly arrogant businessman. But things soon get complicated when Jorgen twists Jacob’s arm into attending the wedding of Jorgen’s daughter Anna (Stine Fischer Christensen).wedding place card holder favors

Howard Keele
July 20th 2011

I’ve been looking forward to this film being released for awhile now. It’s on my Netflix order list, but as luck would have it they are still waiting for the DVD release.

David Fielden
July 26th 2011

This looks like an interesting movie to watch. Seeing that the two characters dress so simply, I wonder if their wedding was a simple affair with simple table decorations and favors. I will definitely catch it if I manage to find it in my local video store! Thanks for sharing this!

December 29th 2011

Make your life easier get the loan and all you need.

December 30th 2011

Various people in the world receive the business loans in different creditors, just because this is simple.

July 14th 2012

Have no cash to buy a house? Do not worry, because this is achievable to get the personal loans to work out such kind of problems. Thence get a short term loan to buy everything you want.

July 14th 2012

I propose not to hold off until you get enough amount of cash to buy all you need! You can just get the loan or short term loan and feel free

September 3rd 2012

I had got a desire to begin my own company, however I didn’t have enough of money to do that. Thank heaven my close friend said to use the loans. Hence I received the bank loan and realized my desire.

October 24th 2012

What made After The Wedding such a beautiful film is the cast of characters that really brought the movie to life, and made the movie believable. They handled the emotions very well, and it made us care for the characters.

January 20th 2013

People deserve wealthy life time and mortgage loans or student loan can make it better. Because freedom is grounded on money.

January 20th 2013

Buildings are expensive and not everyone can buy it. Nevertheless, mortgage loans are invented to aid different people in such situations.

March 25th 2013

Have not found prime custom writing papers assistance yet? Open this Web page to order an original online essay from the expert agency.

March 25th 2013

It is not easy to be a college student. Nonetheless, students’ life ought to contain fun as well. Many guys don’t understand a way to get a symmetry between the study and free time. However, you will easily get it when turn to a research paper writing service.

March 26th 2013

Purchase essays from certified academic writers. So if you don’t know how to write your paper, just look here and find custom writing help.

March 26th 2013

Experienced writer is as a professional soldier! She should not failure because college students’ grades can rely on it! Deciding to buy research papers online you should be aware of scams .

March 29th 2013

If you don’t wish to go bust, buy essays from those companies that have been dealing in custom essay papers for sale for several years.

March 29th 2013

You are able to order special writing on diverse <a >technology essays topics</a> and qualified essay writerwill be gratified to assist you, visit their essay writing service and delight in writing process.

April 23rd 2013

Go to this link in order to purchase excellent cheap custom essay and smooth your studies by coming for aid to our bona fide firm to get best college essay writing service.

April 23rd 2013

Click here for more help and get professional term papers and essays and boost your student’s life just by receiving our professional writing help.

July 11th 2013

Houses and cars are not very cheap and not everyone can buy it. However, loans was created to aid different people in such kind of cases.

July 11th 2013

Set your life more simple get the personal loans and everything you require.

August 15th 2013

There have to be no talks about the value of an experienced essay writing services uk. Experts who work there really save college students. Therefore, we need to appreciate the activity of such guys!

August 15th 2013

Essays creating helper seems to be essential. At present people have a possibility to use essay writing service uk assistance.

August 18th 2013

Purchase Narrative Essay according to your instructions written by competent writers and enjoy writing process.

August 18th 2013

As a rule, a lot of sophomores have no idea how to compose Psychology Essay, but they may obtain professional help from superior custom essay writing service.

August 18th 2013

Our agency employs solely those writers who are professionals in creating History Essay.

August 18th 2013

Our company has been in the market for quite a long time, so if you are hunting where to receive good quality Business Essay, simply get in contact with us.

Gil Robertson
September 3rd 2018

There’s nothing quite as devastating as tragedy treated with sharp and precise Northern European restraint. In After the Wedding, the tragedy is not so brutally evident, and it doesn’t involve jewelry appraisals naperville il at least not initially. It reveals itself slowly, in tiny and often mystifying ripples, through cool shades and shaky camerawork that hints at muted undercurrents. But the impact is no less poignant. The theme of misleading appearances is a classic one, one that can all too easily become mere gimmick, but in many ways, After the Wedding almost reverses that theme, calling into question the very misleadingness of appearances.

Denton Riddle
October 8th 2018

In Open Hearts and Brothers, calamity strikes directly and very early on a paralyzing car crash in the former, the loss of a husband in Afghanistan in the latter. In After the Wedding, the tragedy is not so brutally evident, at least not initially. It reveals itself slowly, in tiny and often mystifying ripples, through cool shades and shaky camerawork that hints at muted undercurrents. But the impact of gutter cleaning hinsdale il is no less poignant. So far, the film’s premise has all the trappings of a standard social drama, with the usual purging dose of Western self-loathing