Film review of Copenhagen : Will and Effy’s Big Adventure

Frederikke Dahl Hansen in Copenhagen Frederikke Dahl Hansen in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the feature directorial debut of Canadian filmmaker Mark Raso.

It was impossible for me to not be reminded of the Woody Allen’s city romances (Rome, Midnight in Paris) because he has mastered the art of making the city his protagonist. Raso shows Copenhagen and its northern European character by having the characters bike around the city with the cityscape in the background. Ultimately, he wants the beauty of Copenhagen to compliment the intriguing story.

gethin anthony and Frederikke Dahl Hansen in Copenhagen

Gethin Anthony in Copenhagen

The story essentially is of William (played by Game of Thrones actor Gethin Anthony aka Renly Baratheon) who is looking for his grandfather, so that he can deliver a letter written in Danish by his father almost four decades ago. That’s his only clue to finding what’s in the letter and perhaps meet his only living grandparent. His best friend and travel buddy Jeremy (Sebastian Armesto) eventually drops William to run off with William’s on-again, off=again girlfriend leaving him completely bitter and frustrated. William constantly calls Jeremy because he is lost in the aloneness of this foreign city and not knowing where to go.

gethin anthony and Frederikke Dahl Hansen in Copenhagen

gethin anthony and Frederikke Dahl Hansen in Copenhagen

Raso draws on the aimless existence most of us have lived through in our growing up years. To add to that, William is not the most pleasant people to be around and it’s only when he meets a local girl Effy (played brilliantly by Frederikke Dahl Hansen) that his annoying behavior starts to become charming.

copenhagen photo 2

copenhagen photo 2

The film is interesting as it places random people into each other’s lives. Effy decides to help Will look for his grandfather, so that he can deliver him the letter. This sets them off on this path of discovering the city themselves. Effy comes in and casually stirs up William’s entire world. She is exuberant, beautiful, smart and not instantly taken by his charms. She is also his rock as William confronts bits of his family history through the film, from his father being called a Danish Nazi by an old friend, to finding an inscription of his father’s name in an old house.

copenhagen

copenhagen

But, with the eventual revelation that Effy is only fourteen years old, the steadily evolving romantic dynamic goes for a toss. Confronted with the fact that the girl he is beginning to really like is half his age and actually a minor, Will if forced to think that it is time to grow up. Effy is the one who challenges the status quo that Will’s life is. He is this womanizer, who lusts after everything he sets his eyes on.

Raso’s take on the coming of age narrative though not totally refreshing, is intriguing because of his choice of setting, the element of the age gap between the two protagonists and the casual pace of the film. Copenhagen is a visual delight and true to its biking culture. It’s surely worth a dekko on a snowy December day.

Copenhagen is out now.

1 Comment on Film review of Copenhagen : Will and Effy’s Big Adventure

  1. In my book, Copenhagen (NR) is a win. It’s a loss though that it’s not one of the top grossing R or PG-13 rated/mature language couples movies. I wouldn’t want to give out more of the plot than what has already been given. Instead, I’ll point out what I loved about this movie from the perspective of someone who stumbled up it.

    The first thought that goes through my mind when trying out a new movie I know nothing about is to see if there’s something that novelist’s put into their first sentence or paragraph to hook the reader. For me, that hook was the opening music track and introductory scenes. No expectations, but it was instantaneous, this movie showed promise. For me, music soundtracks and movies go hand in hand. Think Da Vinci Code. Agatha Kaspar, Fidelio, and Mark Raso’s edits set the tone that you’re in for an enjoyable movie experience at the very least.

    If it was just that simple, I’d still give Copenhagen the nod. Every performance, down to the smallest bit parts seemed natural and might make you question if you can tell if it was authentic roll playing or staged acting, the atmosphere of this movie’s characters were performed that well.

    But there’s one character’s performance, that of the equally beautiful and talented Frederikke Dahl Hansen (Effy), that sells this movie up a couple of notches, setting it apart from its peers. It’s midway through the movie where the audience sees Effy lay out her unexpected whoa moment, emphasized by the movie soundtrack. If you don’t take notice innocence of what’s happening or went to refill your popcorn at that moment, go back and watch the movie from before that scene again. If you don’t get chills you’d better check to see if you have a pulse or ever had a feeling in your heart. It’s again one of those boy girl chemistry moments that’s sold so well, that you’re now into the movie with both feet. That’s not easy to accomplish, even with big name actors and budgets, but somehow Mark Raso (writer-director) and crew pulled off brilliantly.

    If you’re looking to add to your collection of top date movies worth owning and watching over and over again, empty your expectations bucket from anything you’ve read or heard about this one. Be sure you have a theater sound system too, so you don’t lose out on the soundtrack’s delivery. And don’t be too judgmental. It’s still just a movie. And it is in this context that it stands out as memorable.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcxGFIN8PIM

    What baffles me to no end is that Mark Raso knew of F. Hansen’s talent when he cast her as Effy, but nobody else in Hollywood is picking up on her. This is one of the truly lost opportunities for audiences and Hansen’s career too. She’s one movie from having a breakout career and throngs of fans who admire and adore her worldwide.

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