REVIEW “Verdens verste menneske”: You better believe the hype!

Verdens verste menneskeFrom left: actors Herbert Norum and Renate Reinsve, director Joachim Trier, actor Anders Danielsen Lie, and screenwriter Eskil Vogt on the red carpet before the premiere of the film "The Worst Person in the World" at Klingenberg cinema in Oslo. Photo: Beate Oma Dahle / NTB

The final film of Joachim Trier’s “Oslo Trilogy” is full of bittersweet musings on the influence of the #MeToo movement on certain bedroom activities, magic mushrooms, and, most importantly of all, modern love.

Life and love in contemporary Oslo

We all have that friend. You have known them since childhood but they still can’t seem to fit into adult life yet. They’re constantly chopping and changing – work, relationships, tastes, their hairstyle. They don’t seem settled and seem to be on autopilot. If this is someone you know, or you, then you will love Joachim Trier’s final installment of his “Oslo Trilogy,” “Verdens verste menneske” (The Worst Person in the World). Divided into 12 “chapters,” with a prologue and epilogue, this film is a very modern and very Oslo bildungsroman.

The film is centered on Julie (Renate Reinsve, who has won worldwide praise for her first role) and the fact that she seems to be destined to play a supporting role in her own life. We meet her first as a university student who changes career paths more than some of my friends change their underwear.

She falls in love with Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie, a mainstay in any given Trier film) who is an older well established comic book writer. His comics, though, are definitely not child-friendly and are meant to, as he puts it, “shock the bourgeoisie.”

Both Reinsve and Lie give solid performances with Rensve excelling in her emotionally stifled and uncertain character. Gatecrashing a party after escaping a party full of nerdy sycophants for Aksel’s latest comic, she meets Eivind (Herbert Nordrum). His introduction to the film touches on themes of fidelity and existentialism whilst Julie grapples with what is both within her grasp and out of her reach.

Renate Reinsve in Cannes 2021
Renate Reinsve, left, and director Joachim Trier, left, pose for photographers in Cannes. Photo: Joachim Trier Photo by Vianney Le Caer / Invision / AP

#MeToo and #Oslove

In the end, Julie is defined by the choices she makes within all her relationships from friends to family and everyone in between. The film does have its moments of absurd brevity, particularly when magic mushrooms are taken (hang on, I think I’ll need a shower after that reference…).

The ever-present but hidden star of the film is, of course, Oslo. Kasper Tuxen’s stunning cinematography should please the eye of those that live there and those that want to live there. It appears that Trier and Tuxen, unlike many Oslo inhabitants, love the new changes of the city and there is even a conversation about the aesthetic (or lack thereof) qualities of contemporary Oslo architecture. The Oslo fjord, as well, is ever-present throughout the movie, its calm waters contrasting Julie’s often troubled state of mind.

This is very much a modern love story. Feminism, the #MeToo movement’s impact on oral sex, and male privilege are all touched upon often with humor and poignancy. Parenthood and the “modern” family are also examined.

All the big questions of life seem to be broached by Julie and her interactions. Yes, this is a “rom-com” or “dramedy” but one that touches on all the big subjects in life – love, death, family, parenthood, one’s worth and the consequences of one’s actions.

The only drawback is that a more diverse side of Oslo, and its inhabitants, could have been shown.

Verdict: I give this 5 “existential runs through Oslo in the morning” out of 6.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Norway Today unless specifically stated.

About the author:

Jonathan is a lover of the written word. He believes the best way to combat this polarization of news and politics, in our time, is by having a balanced view. Both sides of the story are equally important. He also enjoys traveling and live music.

Source : #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayTravel

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