Daybreak Review

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On one single day Rickard (an unfaithful doctor) is forced to deal with his dishonesty and his jealousy, Anita is still coping with her divorce of 3 years ago, Anders is a bricklayer confronted with real suffering in the guise of his new client and much more...


The fact that an ever-imitative Hollywood didn't rush-release a glut of Magnolia wannabes testifies to the difficulty of making portmanteau plotlines work. However, by avoiding direct character interaction and opting for a thematic link between his stories, Swedish director Björn Runge has produced a sombre and unsettling tract on our indefatigable ability to pluck redemption from the jaws of perdition.

The episode involving adulterous surgeon Jakob Eklund and his desire for revenge on a successful colleague plays out as sophisticated soap opera, while lonely drug-dealer Ann Petren's loathing of her ex-husband and his trophy wife has a tabloid intensity. But much more intriguing is workaholic bricklayer Magnus Klepper's encounter with Ingvar Hirdwall and Marika Lindstrom, whose makeover plans are inspired by a deeply sinister secret.

Shifting between bourgeois soap, tabloid parable and tale of the unexpected, this three-storied study of salvation in extremis makes for unsettling but compelling viewing.