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Flickering Lights aka Blinkende lygter
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed by: Anders Thomas Jensen
Starring: Søren Pilmark
IMDB rating: 7.5
With Mikkel Kessler fighting this weekend, I figured it was about time I watched a Danish film.
Flickering Lights begins with four friends waiting for a delivery of black market cigarettes to arrive. Torkild is the (unofficial) leader of the group and the main character of the film. One of his friends, Arne, is played by Mads Mikkelsen, who was the bad guy in Casino Royale. The group begins to get slightly annoyed as the time ticks away with no sign of the truck driver or his cargo.
When he does arrive, it turns out that the cigarettes he's brought are the wrong kind, being the menthol version of a no-name brand. Understandably annoyed with this, two of the group attack the driver, kicking him until his blood ends up on their clothes, and then jumping on top of him feet first.
Things don't get any better for Torkild when he goes to dinner with his girlfriend, where she informs him that their relationship is over.
Coming home, he is greeted by a surprise birthday party, but things take a turn for the worse when a man named Eskimo shows up. Torkild owes him money, and thanks in part to the deal going bad with the cigarettes, he doesn't have the cash to pay Eskimo what he owes him, and ends up getting punched a few times and told to go and steal a package from a safe in someone's house.
Him and his 3 friends go to the house and break in, but only just manage to escape with the package after getting into a shootout when they are discovered. Back inside the getaway vehicle, he takes a closer a look at what theyve stolen and sees a large amount of money. Dumped by his girlfriend and in debt to a powerful gangster, it doesn't take him long to decide that he'd be better off doing a runner with the cash.
They end up in the countryside, squatting in a run-down building that was once a restaurant, as Torkild tries to stay relaxed despite eccentric locals and the violent inclinations of his friends.
The acting was good; the guy that played Torkild reminded me of a Jean Reno a bit, and Mads Mikkelsen was good as the dangerous Arne. After the first 30 minutes or so, the tone changes a bit and it goes from being a gangster film with a small amount of black comedy to more of a drama, as we see flashbacks to the childhoods of the four friends. Although I felt that these parts were good and offered character development, I didn't think they offered any explanation of the particular character traits they had as adults.
My favourite parts were the violent incidents, but the rest of it is good too and I like that they gave each of the characters some depth rather than have them as stereotypicial small time hoods. Overall this is a good film and I enjoyed it.