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Review: Copenhagen

December 3, 2014

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Copenhagen Poster

Copenhagen is a solidly acted and well made independent film that I think is worth a look.  But this recommendation comes with reservations, because I don’t think that every element of the story works, which I’ll talk about more later on.  The film opens today, exclusively at Carlton Cinemas.

After his best friend Jeremy (Sebastian Armesto) ditches him on a trip to Denmark, William (Gethin Anthony) is left on his own to track down the estranged grandfather that he has never met, and deliver an old letter from his recently deceased father.

With only photographs to track him down, and a language barrier standing in his way, the immature William finds help from the wiser than her years Effy (Frederikke Dahl Hansen), a young local girl who has her own personal reasons for wanting to unravel the mystery.

The two start developing feelings for each other, but their budding friendship is complicated by the fact that he is in his late twenties and she is shockingly only fourteen.  But before addressing the proverbial elephant in the room that is this disturbingly wide age gap, which could keep some audiences at arm’s length, I would first like to focus on the other elements of Copenhagen that really do work, of which there are several.

As a whole, Copenhagen is a pretty good film and a promising directorial debut for Mark Raso, with solid acting and some genuinely well written scenes.  Best known for Game of Thrones, Gethin Anthony is very good in the leading role, bringing to life a complex and imperfect character.  Newcomer Frederikke Dahl Hansen also delivers strong work, and could easily have a bright future ahead of her.  The screenplay does a fine job of setting up the character beats and more mystery like elements of the film, keeping us interested as all the pieces of the story start slowly falling into place.

But the central relationship that develops between William and Effy ultimately feels more unsettling than appealing, and can distract from the more intriguing elements at hand, a problem that could have easily been fixed if they just made the character a few years older.  Copenhagen is still worth checking out, but just expect to feel a little uncomfortable.

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