RantBit

Film bits and bobs

What We Become (2015)

Longer version of piece published by Sight & Sound as part of coverage of the Cult programme at the London Film Festival 2015

what-we-become-2Sorgenfri, the municipality of Greater Copenhagen which is both the setting and the original Danish title of writer/director Bo Mikkelsen’s feature debut What We Become, translates literally as ‘Carefree.’ It is an etymology that is severely ironised by a prologue, lifted from near the film’s chronological end, in which we see blood-spattered, distraught mother Pernille Johansson (Mille Dinese) trying to reassure her young daughter that “Everything’s going to be ok,” as someone – or something – comes violently through the door.

After a very arresting title sequence, we cut to a few days earlier. The Johanssons are an ordinary middle-class family living their carefree life in sunny Sorgenfri, when a mysterious viral outbreak sees them and other residents confined to their homes and surrounded by a panicky, trigger-happy military. The story is told, just like George A. Romero’s undead urtext Night of the Living Dead (1968), from a beleaguered group’s limited perspective, and focuses, like Chris Gorak’s Right At Your Door (2006), on the paranoia that comes with an official quarantine imposed without public explanation. While the Danish bourgeois neighbourhood is terra incognita for this subgenre, the narrative itself feels rather conventional. Yet the direction is accomplished,  and there are occasional surrealist flourishes – suburban homes wrapped in plastic sheeting like Christo installations, or a pack of infected locals gathered around a street lamp to stare up at its light in unison – that leave much more of an impression than all the tired zombie business.

Anton Bitel

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on November 6, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .

Archives

Social media

My most scatterbrained rantings can be found on
Twitter 
and 
Facebook

Follow RantBit on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,853 other followers

%d bloggers like this: