REVIEWED
7/20/10

STORY



LOOK



Terribly Happy (aka Frygtelig lykkelig)
Director: Henrik Ruben Genz
Year: 2008
TRT: 1:30


So did you hear the one about the slightly bonkers Danish Ben Affleck cop going against the angry Danish Michael Madsen town bully in an off-the-map Danish village? Hee-larious! The punch-line's killer! Except there's really not too much of the funny going on. Or a lot, depending on your perspective.

Copenhagen cop Robert Hanson is being relocated to the town of Nowheresville after an 'incident' to collect himself without being an embarrassment to the force, thanks to his commanding officer. But despite the quiet general demeanor of the town, he finds himself quickly immersed in the quagmire, both figuratively and literally. Sometimes medication isn't the cure for what ails, but a town full of seemingly crazy-folk tend to take the edge off. Or at least distract you from some other crazy nonsense.

I can't say this is the Danish version of "FARGO" because it doesn't quite have that level of dark humor spread throughout. Maybe it does if you're Danish, but the subtleties were lost on me (and no, subTITLES have nothing to do with it. Well, probably not. That's more of a language thing, I'd guess). Translations aside, it doesn't detract from a well-told, taught story. This one is pretty solid, with somewhat minimal but effective characters and cinematography to match. Quiet pacing of some disturbing psychological manipulation on multiple fronts, it plays out nicely.

Great Scene: Realization through a blood-soaked carpet.

Media Notes: Netflix Streaming, 16x9 SD but still looked pretty damn good throughout, except for compression on a night shot or two (that's always the telltale sign, fortunately didn't detract from the film at all). Pretty surprising, really. And yeah, considering the content and the pace, not a big deal at all. Danish subtitles, no recourse for english soundtrack if so desired. which is shan't. Actually saw this one in the theater awhile back (sober, hence no review), good enough to warrant another viewing, with most acceptable results.