"Punk Come of Age"
What You Need To Know:
There’s much to like in the storytelling in REPRISE. An unseen Narrator explains how the friends met and how they each would like the future to be. The Narrator’s tone is comical, and there are a number of laughs. The movie does, however, take itself pretty seriously. Thus, for all the intellectualizing which the characters do, there’s not much said in terms of life or meaning in life. Ultimately, viewers are left empty. There is depicted sex and nudity and club scenes with much foul language and drinking. As an intellectual exercise into the alternative/punk culture, REPRISE shines, but it offers no real answers.
(HHH, LL, SS, NN, AA, D, M) Strong humanist worldview from the punk/alternative subculture; 10 obscenities and one profanity; no violence; depicted fornication, pornographic web site images shown; upper male and upper female nudity; much alcohol use; smoking; and, poor parental role models, lying, and man gives “the finger” to friends.
REPRISE tells the story of two 20-something friends, Phillip (played by Anders Danielson Lie) and Erik (played by Espen Klouman-Hoiner) who set out to become published authors in the punk/alternative intellectual movement in Norway.
Erik and Phillip are a part of a small group of friends who shun relationships for alternative music, novels and essays. Phillip’s book is published and he becomes a mini-celebrity in their intellectual world. However, his romance with Kari (played by Viktoria Winge) pushes him into an emotional and mental breakdown.
Six months later, Erik and the other friends pick up Phillip from the mental hospital and help him along the path of recovery. Erik’s novel is eventually published, but receives poor critical notices. He decides he must leave Oslo in order to keep writing. He returns to find Phillip doing better emotionally and his friends all starting to “grow up” and have relationships and jobs.
Much of the story in REPRISE is a glimpse inside Phillip’s journey into a world of obsession. He and Kari go back to Paris, where they first fell in love in hopes of re-kindling the romance and his muse for writing. However, Phillip insists on doing everything exactly as they had before, down to even re-staging photos that they had taken before. The futility of trying to capture the past is demonstrated.
This coming of age story about friendship is told in a unique manner. The narrative moves into the past to explain relationships. Then, it zips into the future with a narrator explaining what Erik is thinking, as if Erik was writing the characters in a novel. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if what’s happening is what Erik thinks might happen or is really what’s happening. It effectively captures the years when these characters are no longer teenagers but aren’t quite adults yet either.
There’s much to like in the storytelling in REPRISE. First-time director Trier shows much promise. The performances by mostly non-actors feel fresh and unique. An unseen Narrator takes viewers into some of the action, mostly explaining how the friends met and how they each would like the future to be. The Narrator’s tone is comical and there are a number of laughs. The movie does, however, take itself pretty seriously. Thus, for all the intellectualizing which the characters do, there’s not much said in terms of life or meaning in life. Ultimately, viewers are left empty.
That emptiness might be the point. Their world is a word without God or religion of any kind. They are intellectual humanists who struggle to find meaning in this world, but are unsuccessful. They look to punk music and the alternative press to find what’s important and meaningful.
There is depicted sex and nudity and club scenes with much foul language and drinking. A character reads pornographic magazines and (in flashback) a young teenager views a pornographic website, which his mother doesn’t seem to mind. As an intellectual exercise into the alternative/punk culture, this movie shines. But for finding any real answers, this movie doesn’t offer any.