Film review: Reprise

Published: Thursday, June 19 2008 3:09 p.m. MDT

The title of "Reprise" seems to imply that parts of the movie will be rehashed at some point. Or worse, that the film itself might be a little repetitive.

Fortunately, the film is a little fresher than that. It's not exactly breaking new ground, but the material has a real ring of truth to it. However, it should be said that this Norwegian import is also a bit sullen, which means it will be an acquired taste for some audiences.

Still, the drama has a literate — or perhaps literary would be more accurate — quality to it as well, which is not coincidental. After all, the main characters are a pair of would-be, twentysomething authors.

They're Phillip (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Hoiner), two best friends who have just submitted their latest manuscripts to publishers.

Only one of their books winds up being published, though, and that's the one written by the taciturn and introspective Phillip.

But the two pals react differently to success — or the lack thereof. Phillip is hospitalized following a nearly suicidal incident, and after being released, he resumes his possibly destructive relationship with Kari (Viktoria Winge).

Meanwhile, the considerably more happy-go-lucky Erik continues to type away, and hopes to set a good example for Phillip, who's experiencing a serious case of writer's block.

Co-screenwriter/director Joachim Trier overreaches a bit here. But some of his observations about male relationships and the cusp of adulthood are pretty perceptive.

And he gets very good performances from his leads, particularly Klouman-Hoiner, whose role is the more tricky one.

"Reprise" is rated R for strong sexual language (scattered profanity and vulgar slang terms), sexual imagery (brief glimpses of pornographic photos), as well as simulated sex, brief female nudity, drug references and content (sleep aids and anti-depression medication), brief gore and blood, some brief violent content (fisticuffs and bullying, an auto-pedestrian accident and implied suicidal behavior), and derogatory slurs based on sexual preference. Running time: 105 minutes.


E-MAIL: jeff@desnews.com