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Victim of Love Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Bleed For This Picture

article-cover

Written and directed by Jesper Isaksen
2019, 95 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 16th November 2019

Starring:
Rudi Køhnke as Charly
Siff Andersson as Felicija
Louise Cho as Amy
Paw Tendrup as Frederik

Review:

No, nothing to do with Elton John, nor the old Pierce Brosnan TV movie. Investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend, a man checks into a seedy hotel in Copenhagen. Big, tough Charly (Rudi Køhnke) looks like he could handle just about anything, but even he is unprepared for what the hotel and its mysterious receptionist (Siff Andersson) has in store for him. It’s not long at all before Charly topples down a rabbit hole of sex and drugs, face-first into a mind-bending phantasmagorical nightmare.

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The story (or what passes for it) is nothing new, but it’s what director Jesper Isaksen does with it that counts. Isaksen’s debut feature shoves Twin Peaks into a blender with Pulp Fiction and The Neon Demon, brewing up a heady mindfuck of sex, gore and gimp suits. There’s not a lot of story (by which we mean things actually happening) to it, but fans of experimental cinema should enjoy its lavish, luscious visuals and unsettling flights of surreality. Is Charly losing his mind, off his face on drugs, or is something even more sinister and otherworldly at play? What happened to Charly's girlfriend? Can he lay off the booze for long enough to find her? Ah, who cares, when it looks this good?

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Certainly not Charly, drinking, shagging and snorting up a storm when he’s supposed to be looking for his missing girlfriend. Køhnke does great work as the big guy, and the film provides no easy answers as to his true motives and intentions. Playing confused, vulnerable and weak – at the same time as looking as though he could rip a man’s head off with his bare hands – is no easy task, but Køhnke pulls it off in a powerhouse lead performance. He’s the Alice in Isaksen’s Wonderland, and the glue that holds the film together.

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Naturally, the film’s lack of narrative drive and structure will put many off. Victim of Love can be difficult to follow at times, and those without a taste for the arthouse will be left looking for structure and clarity where there is none. To those who prefer mood over plot, it’s an unsettling treat. The film looks and sounds incredible; a neon tinged film noir with a memorable protagonist and excellent lead performances.

Depending on one’s tastes, Victim of Love is either a delight for all the senses or an assault upon them. Wherever one falls on the spectrum, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most original and memorable genre films this year.

Grades:

Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover
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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Writer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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