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quietearth [Film Festival 06.17.09] movie review drama

Year: 2008
Directors: Erik Poppe
Writers: Harald Rosenløw Eeg
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 9 out of 10

This is my second favorite film of the year, right behind Yves Christian Fournier's Everything is Fine (which technically dropped last year but whatever). In fact, I had to chuck my rating system as I wanted to give this a 9 and it's surely worthy. A social realist drama, Troubled Water is beautifully shot and furthermore, the storyline is plausible. The characters are very personal, and since details are left unexplained, they are not overbearing. We see them from the standpoint of an onlooker, without judgement, from both sides of the story of a young man who murdered a four year old boy, and from the murdered boys mother after he is released from prison.

As I said, many details are left unexplained leaving us to wonder about part of the backstory and the characters thoughts. The film is done in such a fashion that the beginning is almost a quiescent character study as Jan is released from prison. Inside, he played organ for the church, and after being freed gets a job in another Church as he is clearly gifted. Through this beginning, his nature is not one of hesitancy but remains unrevealing. His past horror is sometimes mixed with the present, the memory of what he had done always near. While Jan is trying to build a new life, the pace eventually picks up as the mother of the boy he murdered discovers his release.

The other characters involved, from the female priest who tends the church to the mother of the murdered boy, don't speak much. We follow our main characters through their conjoined upheavals and in this, action speaks louder then words. De Usynlige did not use any emotional hooks to attach us to the characters. We only observe, and even with the horrible act commited, somehow the film reveals the best of human nature.

Always poignant, alternately distressing and moving, Troubled Water contemplates a world which we don't usually see in film, and while I'd love to tell you about it, I can't spoil it. This is a must see.

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Dino (12 years ago) Reply

Great review, sounds amazing.

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