Thomas Daneskov (2021)Rasmus Bjerg, Zakki Youssef, Sofie Grabol Rated 15 Run time 104 mins
Our final (nay, terminal!) screening of this 2022-23 season – and in more ways than one…
This funded-in-Denmark-but-shot-in-Norway shaggy man story has only a limited release in UK cinemas, but won many friends at festivals worldwide: perhaps the wide-open spaces transversed by the protagonists (midlife-crisis-would-be-Viking Martin and dumped-in-the-wilderness-weed-smuggler Musa) provided an antidote to lockdowns ?
At any rate, this viewer finds it both unexpectedly funny and genuinely engaging: while it clearly has a tangential relationship to Coens’ Fargo (the original film not the T.V series) in terms of both plotting and deadpan style, its also very much its own kettle of wilderness-scavenged fish. (Those squeamish about impromptu open-air stitching of wounded limbs- or what the BBFC examiners coyly describe as “strong injury detail” – might, however, want to look away briefly at about the half-hour mark.) Entertainingly played and directed with assurance by Daneskov, Wild Men works both as an idiosyncratic comedy-thriller and as a droll commentary on different kinds of delusional male behavior – in short, a perfect end-of-season entertainment.
86% – Rotten Tomatoes
6.5 / 10 – IMDB
“The wonderful thing about “Wild Men,” a movie that suggests a dream-team collaboration of Hal Hartley and the Coen Brothers, is that everyone involved takes themselves extremely seriously, even as they behave and speak in ways that cause viewers who get the joke to smile, chuckle and occasionally laugh out loud”
“to top it all off, one of the final images is an affectingly melancholy reference to, of all things, Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru.” That, too, is likely to make you smile.”