- Summary: Robert Hanson is a Copenhagen police officer who, following a nervous breakdown, is transferred to a small provincial town to take on the mysteriously vacated Marshall position and subsequently gets mixed up with a married femme fatale. Robert’s big city temperament makes it impossible for h him to fit in, or understand the uncivilized, bizarre behavior displayed by the townspeople. Quickly spiraling downward into an intense fable reminiscent of the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple and No Country for Old Men, Terribly Happy displays a unique, often macabre vision of the darkest depths to which people will go to achieve a sense of security and belonging. (Oscilloscope Laboratories)… Expand
- Director: Henrik Ruben Genz
- Genre(s): Drama
- More Details and Credits »
"Terribly Happy" may be the best pseudo-western film that Denmark has ever sent our way. It's as if David Lynch had directed a fantastic western. A perfectly executed psychological thriller that takes place on the soggy plains of southern Denmark.
It is relentless and expressionless film noir, and constructed with great skill. Robert Hanson (Jakob Cedergren) is a Copenhagen police officer who, following a nervous breakdown, is transferred to a small provincial town (where cows and problems disappear in the mud), to take on the mysteriously vacated Marshall position. He quickly learns that the town bully, Jørgen, beats his wife, and subsequently gets mixed up with the women he is trying to protect. Robert's big city temperament makes it impossible for him to fit in, or what to make of the bizarre behavior displayed by the towns people. Robert's situation begins spiraling out of control, and when someone dies, and Robert knows the prime suspect is innocent, and he exercises vigilante justice. He wants to protect himself and the daughter of Jørgen, and he also wants to reconnect with his own daughter back home in Copenhagen.
As the storyline unfolds, it grows increasingly desperate. The unease is undisguised -and you, like the marshall will fight it all at first, but eventually we will be forced to accept and just give in. The film's most eerie detail involves Jørgen daughter. When she parades alone down the abandoned main street with her baby buggy and its squeaky wheels, everyone knows domestic violence is taking place at Jorgen's house. Genz is perfectly paired with cinematographer Jørgen Johansson who captures the essence of trepidation and misery. To call this a dark comedy may be misleading because you won't be laughing out loud, but the humor keeps a strong undercurrent. An offbeat modern noir... is a weirdly compelling portrait of a town that has its own sense of justice.… Expand
JimF5I was impressed at first by how well this Danish drama understood the psychological elements of film, but when it came time to lay the cards on the table, it came up short. What some critics have called surrealism strikes me as implausibility, a quality that escalates to sheer lunacy by the film's end.… Expand