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Terribly Happy (DVD Review)

8 Jul, 2010 By: Alexandra Hammarth

Street 7/13/10
Box Office $0.17 million
$29.99 DVD
Not rated.
In Danish with English subtitles.
Stars Jakob Cedergren.

When Officer Robert Hansen is transferred from Copenhagen to a small town after a nervous breakdown, he discovers there is more mystery to this town than the object-swallowing bog.

Terribly Happy is a Danish film featuring an effectively quiet Jakob Cedergren as Hansen, whose personal battles from his home life are carried out to his new call of duty in this small town. The town’s small group of inhabitants each take it upon themselves to conceal any mystery the officer attempts to solve.

In the town, he is welcomed by the local belle, Ingelise (Lene Maria Christensen), who spends most of her time following and flirting with Robert in order to avoid her abusive husband, Jørgen (Kim Bodnia). Neither the town nor Ingelise have filed a complaint against Jørgen’s abusive behavior, but moral Robert vows to protect the young woman, despite the risk of him coming after the both of them.

In depicting a gray, seemingly boring town, Terribly Happy does an excellent job with its cinematography. The eerie angles and cutting shots all add to the chilling feeling of this officer isolated in a town full of bizarre behavior. The local men who hold a nightly card game always invite Robert, but he never accepts, for fear that he will not only join their little “club” but somehow end up like them. His constant struggle in understanding the town’s meaning of punishment and loyalty all make for an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Extras include behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film, audio commentary, and a studio interview between the authors who collaborated on the story, which was based on true events.

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