23 June 2009 | przgzr
Devastating change of style near the end
This could have been one among so many very good Scandinavian family movies. Better than average for Norway (somewhere along Ulvesommer, not too far behind Ikke naken).
And then, only 8 minutes before the closing credits, it suddenly went into completely wrong direction. A normal, modern, realistic story became a fairy tale, without any obvious reason.
Why??? Yes, the movie starts with a mirror, and first scene appears as if seen in a mirror with "Mirror of souls" written on its top. But later we completely forget about it. And the only thing that could remind us on fairy tales is a Queen. However, Norway is a kingdom, and this seems to be a very modern realistic queen, talking to her employees, using cellular phone etc.
The movie continues as a story that could happen to anybody. It has a even a rather strong message, showing exploitation of children for beauty contests (or any other occasion where parents use children to fulfill their own dreams) and chemical (pharmaceutical) industry that irresponsibly uses dangerous substances to develop new products for kids (in this movie some are having narcotic characteristics) just to make profit, so in some parts of the movie it seems to be addressed more to parents than to kids.
And then, after using cars, cellular phones, modern kitchen devices, seeing dark side of industry and media (looking for sensations), that all made us involved in a drama on the edge of crime, suddenly a magic "Mirror of souls" appears - and changes it all into a Grimm brothers style fairy tale.
The worst thing is maybe that it wasn't necessary at all. The whole plot could be developed and brought to end without any magic, supernatural or similar solutions. This is the moment where the movie fails in eyes of adults, but I'm also sure that most of kids won't like this change either. If it is a movie about animals, or cartoon, or classic fairy tale, or adventure with kids - children will accept it, but all these sub-genres are different and have their rules and can't replace one another at the end of the movie. It is so disappointing.
Ingrid Lorentzen seems to be overacting to caricature as a stepmother, but once this movie becomes a fairy tale this characters also becomes an evil Cinderella's stepmother, and justifies her way of acting. However, why wasn't the whole movie made in the same style, and all the actors playing caricatures or at least some typical fairy tale roles? At the end, of course, there was also not a trace of former criticism. Just a typical old style happy-end. And my rating 6/10 is very generous, only because of the first 80 percent of the movie, but the whole construction could be satisfied if given 4.