“ Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 2003 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Christoffer Boe / Actors: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie, Krister Henriksson, Nicolas Bro, Helle Fagralid ... / DVD released 2005-07-25 at Soda Pictures / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen „
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"This is a film - it is a construction."
And so begins the rollercoaster ride that is Christoffer Boe's stunning debut feature. It will confuse, amaze and delight but, perhaps most importantly of all, it will keep you gripped for its entire 90 minute duration.
Reconstruction is a Rubik's cube of love, emotion and memories. Alex is (he thinks) in love with the beautiful and thoughtful Simone. But one evening, he has a chance encounter with Aimee and decides to follow this mysterious and alluring woman across the nightscape of Copenhagen to embark upon a new affair. But after a night spent with Aimee, Alex's whole world begins to crumble as his past is no longer his own and his memories no longer seem real. Confused yet? Well you should be. But it's a pleasant and thought provoking confusion that will keep you guessing the film's outcome right up until its denouement.
You could easily classify Reconstruction as a romance since love is a fundamental element of the film. But that would ignore all the many subtle nuances Boe works into the script and cinematography. The stunning architecture of Copenhagen provides us with a breathtaking backdrop that perfectly frames Alex's story as it twists and turns back on itself until you forget where the film began and you completely lose sight of where it might end.
This is as much about the art of film as it is about the art of storytelling and, as such, it does teeter on the edge of pretentiousness. But the excellent casting in Nikolaj Lie Kaas as Alex and Maria Bonnevie as Aimee makes it absorbing enough to ignore Boe's slight overindulgence. Bonnevie evokes a 1940's starlet with her flawless complexion, luscious red lips and the ability to bring elegance and sophistication to even the most questionable of wardrobe choices (beige patent knee high boots - need I say more?) Meanwhile Kaas smoulders on screen with his rugged good looks and pensive distant expression. He is a man on the edge of love, and yet dangerously close to losing everything and everyone he has ever known. Each path he chooses leaves another irrevocably closed. The supporting cast is equally impressive and convincing with minor characters all playing major roles in the outcome of Alex's future.
Reconstruction has been likened to Memento, no doubt because of it's non-linear progression. If you're a person who is easily put off by subtitles and swayed by films that don't repeatedly state the glaringly obvious, then Reconstruction is not for you. On the other hand, if you appreciate character progression, the art of each pan shot and immersing yourself in both the story and the art of cinema, then this will be right up your street. Boe's inexperience doesn't show in the writing and direction, instead it brings a fresh eagerness and ability to explore new elements of cinema and storytelling. This is a film best viewed in company as it will make you think and you won't be able to help yourself talking about it.
Boe himself said "Why make a movie about love-the king of clichés? In fact why make a movie when there is Hitchcock, Godard, Tarkovsky and Carax?" But you only need to watch Reconstruction to understand exactly why. After all, this is a film. It is a construction.