31 March 2004 | jono_nath
Four Shades of Brown - a colourful gem
The English title should be added to IMDb: how can that be done? I saw Four Shades of Brown (with English subtitles) in Copenhagen
A wonderful mix of brownish-black humour and, amid the playfulness, a good dose of wistful melancholy - this film captures a particular (and compelling) view of Swedish life today, better than any other film in recent years. The subtle ironies and rather self-conscious social commentary will probably be lost on those who have not lived in Sweden or had a fair bit of contact here.
It's hard to know how enjoyable these four stories would be to someone who knows little about Sweden and contemporary Swedish-ness. In might help, for example, to enjoy the comic artistry of Robert Gustafsson, without having in mind his many appearances on Swedish TV. But in some ways, this background is the main point. One of the film's triumphs is Gustafsson's love-hate light-dark creation of the everyday absurdities of `normal' family life here. If you don't recognise the humour in the use of regional accents, for example, you'll be missing a lot of the fun.
Nevertheless, Four Shades has plenty to offer anyone willing to think outside their own set of cultural references. At least a couple of the storylines are, in themselves, quite captivating.
Don't be put off the title. If you're looking for pretty images of Sweden, the opening shots alone will satisfy. Personally I was pleased that at least it finally rained at the beachside hotel, one morning.
Presumably SVT (Swedish public service TV) will show this gem within a year or two. Surely!? It's a big shame that it doesn't seem to be getting much of a run in the Swedish cinemas.
[This is my first review for IMDb - jono_nath AT hotmail DOT-U-know-what :-]