by Katrine Wiedemann - Dannish - 2011
I am still looking forward to write my comments on some of my favourite movies in the recent past. Amour staying high on the list. No other movie made me cry, like Amour did. Tears rolled down for long periods, while watching Amour. Still, I have been postponing it. I do not want to postpone at all, my comments on this small gem from Denmark, Viceværten - A Caretakers Tale. Quite a movie, with that rare poetic touch.
Per, a caretaker of an apartment building, is tired of his life. His wife left him, his lowlife son is just out of prison and will move out with his mother and so on. And out of some blue, during his work in an empty flat, he sees a smiling girl on the floor, draped in a transparent cloth, yet naked. He soon finds out that she is not a hooker or an illegal immigrant. May be because of his state of mind, he turns out a pure maochist and rapes her. But to his atmost surprise, realise that the girl loved it. It was never a rape for her. In fact, she is simply craving for more and more sex.
So here is a girl, who seems to have fallen out of the sky, no talking or walking, just smiling out for more sex. Per soon realises that he might be the luckiest man there is. Some long lost enthusiasm is back on his face and he is unable to cover it from his stupid friends. To cheer up one of them, lonely in life and waiting for a knee surgery, he take his friend to the girl who happily accepts him. Well, the friend comes back to him to say the girl is too special, that ever since his meeting with her, he has lost his knee pain and he will not need to go under knife anymore. His friend is too kind to keep this a secret and wants to help the needy people around. And the girl is happy to accept anybody too.
For the sake of anybody wanting to watch this lovely movie, I won't go further into the story. But here is a gem of a story, a lovely piece of fantasy. Except for sex, it has elements which we would find in a kid's bed time story. I would say, even for an adult, this is a perfect bed time story. And it is a gem of a cinema as well. Wonderful performances, an understanding cinematographer and a brilliant director.
The mythical character of this girl, who keeps on smiling for 99% of the time when camera is anywhere around, can only come out of the most fanatically fantasy loving writer. (She doesn't speak nor can she even walk) Interestingly though, the girl seems to love everything she experiences first. Sex, Cola and the food Per offers her. Adding the healing element to her, was a master stroke and takes the movie into a different level, looking at the ever foolish, spirituality craving, society with a pint of sarcasm. We also look at various aspects of human emotions and mindset through Per. Per's enthusiasm and pride to keep hold of a beautiful young girl who would not ask him questions is unparallelled, told subtly though.
I tend to forget the names of many movies, its stories and all about it, sometimes even of good ones, within a few days of watching. Only the most extra ordinary ones tend to stay in my mind. Here is one movie that I will never forget. The innocent smile of this angelic girl, will always live in my heart. For me, this would be definitely one of my all time favourite movie, and will haunt me for long time.
If somebody would have told this story to me, I would not have taken a moment to say, ok that is a French movie. For, often, its the French who have out of the box ideas and thoughts and the means to bring it out into bench mark movies. Viceværten - A Caretakers Tale, can be easily mistaken as a French movie. So in someways I am pleasantly shocked. I have been lucky to have seen some Dannish movies of late and was very impressed with many of them. However, this is really a master piece with some poetic charm.
I would love to send a garland of love and appreciation to the whole crew.
And to Madame Katrine Wiedemann, the wonderful director, I will wash your feet maam. Thank you so much for this movie.