The Bothersome Man Review

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Andreas has lost his memory but upon arriving in a city finds a job, an apartment and a wife awaiting him. However, things are not what they seem.


Based on a radio play by writer Per Schreiner, this unsettling Scandinavian satire owes much to the austere theatre of Samuel Beckett and the absurdist cinema of Jacques Tati. At its centre, however, Trond Fausa Aurvåg adopts a Buster Keaton-esque blend of deadpan expression and slapstick physicality to convey his growing realisation that he is the only resident of a model city alienated by its empty pleasures. But director Jens Lien shrewdly leavens the bleakness with cartoonish violence, and while the resolution disappoints, this remains an impeccably designed vision of one man’s heaven being another’s hell.

A few flaws but this is visually captivating and psychologically disturbing.