A Somewhat Gentle Man (2010)

May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Stellan Skarsgård and associates in 'A Somewhat Gentle Man'

Written by Kim Fupz Aakeson

Directed by Hans Petter Moland

Starring Stellan Skarsgård and Bjørn Floberg

A Somewhat Gentle Man is a fabulous genre picture out of Norway. It’s your standard archetypal story of a grizzled-gangster coming home after a long time in exile/jail, ready to settle old debts and grudges, re-connect with former lovers and colleagues, etc. We’ve seen this done many times before. However, this film is done in a very unique way. It’s played completely straight with nary a nod or a wink and is hilarious, thanks to some deftly timed deadpan humor. The script captures all the little, awkward or ridiculous moments which at the time seem anything but funny, though upon hindsight are quite humorous. Stack a film chock full of these moments and it makes for a belly-laugh-filled good time.

Every character is richly drawn with their own amusing quirks and idiosyncrasies and the relationships are drawn very nicely. Its complex without being confusing. This is a tightly written, very observant film that organically develops the various coincidences and clever plot twists without ever seeming like the film makers are forcing the story to adhere to their goals. Stellan Skarsgard is brilliantly reserved as the main character, a man who prefers not to speak but whom finds himself being pestered by a bevy of over-talkative folks.

The supporting cast is all very enjoyable, all hilarious. In Hollywood there’s a saying that agents and studios tell their writer/producer/director clients: “I want the same, but different.” Gentle Man fits that request to a T. It’s all the same stuff youve seen before, but done differently and better.

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