The Good

The Bad

From what I can make out, Reconstruction is the story of a man, who dreams about a women, meets the women in real life, spends the night with her and then his whole life is turned upside down. Then at the end, I got the distinct impression that this whole yarn may have been a story inside of a book, however I am probably wrong about that. Damn, Christopher Boe has made an interesting movie. Seriously, I honestly had very low expectations for this. I expected it to be incomprehensible, arty and a bit boring for my tastes and I was quite impressed. Although, it may have actually been all the things I was initially scared of it being.

The acting between Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Maria Bonnevie is terrific. They have such a quiet way about them. Almost a shorthand, as if they know each other yet are strangers. Or maybe they knew each other. I am certainly not going to postulate that I 100% got this film or completely understand this meaning, I will just say that in a nutshell Reconstruction is movie about the human condition. It is a tale of the choices we make and how sometimes those choices define our lives in very unexpected ways.

Features

Interviews with Cast and Crew

These are 3 sets of “stylized” interviews done with Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie and the director Christopher Boe. While I think this interviews are done well and overall pretty interesting, I must say I found a lot of them to be listening to these people talk about things in almost abstract terms. In fact, it was odd to hear them talk and sadly they didn’t say anything to me. Maybe other people will get a lot out of these interviews, maybe it is a culture thing, I don’t know...I am however thankful that they are on this disc.

Video

Widescreen of some sort but it doesn’t say what kind of widescreen this movie is. The look of this film is highly stylized. I expected this because Palm Pictures usually releases “different” types of movies. Their tastes are certainly off the beaten path. This movie has the moodiness of some of Scorsese’s work and at times reminded me of the work of American avant-garde filmmaker, Stan Brakhage.

Audio

5.1 Surround Sound. This is one of those films that I am not sure how great the sound has to be in order for the viewer to enjoy it. It’s not like I felt there was anything that would have merited better sound quality. It sounds good as is. This film is sort of quiet, almost soft in spots that I think to have a blown out soundtrack could ultimately have hurt the piece. The film sounds rich and mixed with Boe’s stylized imagery all add a nice somber sense to this interesting movie. Also, I was watching it subtitled so sound takes on an extra special resonance.

Package

A cigarette blows up smoke that seems to create a heart shaped ring. The main actors faces are in this heart shaped ring about to kiss one another. On the back are various shots from the movie, that seem to speak to the type of movie that this is. It sort of tells you you are going to be going on a ride. You are going to be given pieces and will have to decide for yourself how to piece this narrative together. I think a different cover may have helped this movie, maybe something giving us more clues, but then again I am an American and I like my cinema pretty simple, right?

Final Word

Reconstruction is a very well made movie. I don’t know if it played in the US, I am assuming that it probably did in a very short theatrical run. Let me just say that a movie like this, if it were to be given to the chance to find the right audience, could really be something. There is an audience for this type of “intelligent” movie. I don’t think that art and commerce have to be mutually exclusive. Will a movie like Reconstruction ever make a gazillion dollars? Probably not, but I am sure that with the right promotion and the proper release pattern that this movie could at least do decent numbers at the box office.

I found this movie to be smart, well written, nicely shot and at the end of the day, I would feel quite comfortable in recommending Reconstruction to anybody who likes their films to be a little offbeat, but still tell a good story. In this regard, Reconstruction is very well constructed.

Reconstruction was released May 17, 2003.