Den du frygter, (Fear Me Not) (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Den du frygter, (Fear Me Not)
reaches for palpable psychosis but, in the end, achieves only meandering dread.
Couple the deft writing, direction and superb acting, especially Ulrich Thomsen, with the lush, beautiful photography (by Jens Schlosser) and you get an above average study...
The kind of concept Alfred Hitchcock would have loved ... a hauntingly effective little film.
A calm, quiet performance from Ulrich Thomsen initially seems too restrained, but Levring and his star prove they know exactly what they are doing in this uniquely startling character study.
The latest from the Dogma cine-factory is notable for director Kristian Levring's visual suggestion of madness.
Audience Reviews for Den du frygter, (Fear Me Not)
Den du Frygter (Fear Me Not) (Kristian Levring, 2008) It would be possible to write an entirely accurate review of Fear Me Not in exactly eleven words. "Ulrich Thomsen. Paprika Steen. What more do you need to know?" Amazon, however, required reviewers to write at least twenty, so I might as well go whole hog and tell you more, for those of you (there may be a few out there) for whom Thomsen (Adam's Apples) and Steen (Applause) are not automatic selling points. The two of them play a married couple, Mikael and Sigrid. Mikael has taken a leave of absence from work for an undisclosed reason; we can reasonably assume it has to do with his anxiety and depression, which he attempts to hide from Sigrid and their daughter Selma (Magi I Luften's Emma Sehested Hoeg) as much as possible. (He doesn't do a very good job of it, but the two of them are willfully blind to his condition, Sigrid more so.) One of the few routines he is still clinging to is rowing a few mornings a week with his friend and brother-in-law Frederik (Terribly Happy's Lars Brygman), a doctor whose hospital is about to start a trial of a new anti-anxiety medication. Mikael asks if he can get in on it; Frederik reluctantly agrees. At first, everything seems to be going swimmingly; Mikael becomes cheerful, connects with his family, starts talking about going back to work. But then, the changes start taking a darker turn. A few months before I watched Fear Me Not, I watched Side Effects, the latest (as of this writing) film from Steven Soderbergh, which covers, at least in its first third, a very similar scenario. I was not terribly fond of Side Effects, though I did like that first bit some. Fear Me Not has shown me why I was dissatisfied with a good deal of it. Soderbergh used this idea, of a drug trial gone hideously wrong, as the springboard to something else, and he put very little thought into that part of the film as a result; Rooney Mara's character went bonkers, and that set the scene for his real movie. Here, on the other hand, it is the real movie; this is what the press for Side Effects wanted you to believe it was, and Levring (The Intended) manages, with very little effort, to create a sense of palpable menace. Excellently-drawn characters working their way through a cracking script with a very mean heart. I say again: what more do you need to know? *** 1/2
In a nutshell, a story of a man living a seemingly happy family life, having an existential crisis. It's somewhat uncomfortable, yet fascinating in a way, watching the main character unravel. Somehow, Scandinavian movies manage to capture bleak atmosphere of urban dread and desperation exceptionally well.
Well it was interesting, well performed, nice set up and a decent twist I didn't see coming but it could of taken it to the next level. It's about a father named Michael who is unhappy and decides to take a leave of absence from work and try an experimental drug to help him unwind but has psychotic side effects that threatens his simple, privilege life. This could of been so much more terrifying than it ended being and it seemed like it didn't know what direction to take whether it was a startling psychological/thriller or a deep character driven drama. I thought it was very slow moving but I stuck it out thinking something big was going to happen and when something actually did happen it didn't take it anywhere or to new heights, it just ends. I was thinking to myself when the credits rolled, "what was the point of it all or trying to make"? It didn't explain anything completely and all I got was that he had a bad childhood but they never went into it at all, I hate when movies do that. Overall it was an intriguing movie with fine performances that had so much potential but pretty much fell flat to me and not worth seeking out and wasting time one but hopefully the semi similar upcoming movie Limitless will be more thrilling and stronger than this one. Skip it. What a waste!
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