The language of friendship in 'Reprise'

Review A-

June 27, 2008|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic

Reprise, the first film from Norwegian director Joachim Trier (who also co-wrote the script with Eskil Vogt), is a serious spree: a bittersweet yet also romping reverie about the way that people become artists in the new millennium.

Punk rock, high literature, the group allegiances of almost-grown males who alternate bravado with fear, and the heady emotions of young adulthood course through the lives of the two main characters, Philip (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Hoiner). They share a cosseted upbringing on the wealthy side of Oslo, a yen for language and an authentic friendship that transcends everything except Philip's love for the lissome Kari (Viktoria Winge) and Erik's surprisingly tough and durable artistic ambition.

They both begin as writers simultaneously, but their fates diverge and twist amid a backdrop of volatile relationships and fickle pop and cultural celebrity. This movie operates like an emotional seismograph that's equally comic and dramatic in its peaks and valleys.

The movie adheres to James Joyce's prescription that a modern writer must defend himself with silence, exile and cunning, but it never becomes pompous or bathetic. It helps that long-faced Lie and pretty-boy Hoiner bring Philip and Erik a Lennon-McCartney kind of chemistry. The movie has been compared, with some reason, to the French New Wave. But it's like Jules and Jim or Band of Outsiders blended with A Hard Day's Night.

michael.sragow@baltsun.com

Reprise

(Miramax) Starring Anders Danielsen Lie and Espen Klouman-Hoiner. Directed by Joachim Trier. Rated R for sexuality and language. Time 105 minutes.

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