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Mifune Review

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A newly wed couple return to the husband's family farm after the death of his father. Buried secrets are soon revealed.

★★★★★

Rules are there to be broken and for this third outing under the Dogma 95 banner, director Kragh-Jacobsen has embraced the sacred vow of cinematic chastity with anything but monastic rigour.

But Kragh-Jacobsen's study in deceit would probably have looked like this even if he hadn't followed, however loosely, Dogma's naturalistic principles.

It begins with the wedding of yuppie couple Kresten (Berthelsen) and Claire (Sofie Grobel). Just as they have consummated the marriage (in the most vigorous comic fashion), he receives word that his father has died - which comes as a shock to new wife, since Kresten said he was an orphan.

Returning to the family farm, he decides against putting defenceless brother Rud (Asholt), in a home and hires a housekeeper, Liva (Hjejle). But Liva has been economical with the truth about her own past: she is a hooker on the run from her pimp.

There's an inevitability about the resolution, and the sub-plots involving Liva's son (Tarding) and Kresten's envious neighbour (Anders Hove) are clumsily integrated. But this gently humorous romcom, which won the Jury Prize at Berlin, has an unobtrusive intelligence.

Sufficiently independent to eschew the dogmatic use of handheld hi-jinx, Kragh-Jacobsen achieves some beautiful natural lighting effects. He also draws credible performances from a relatively new cast, with Asholt's unforced naivete standing in stark contrast to the artificiality of Lars Von Trier's The Idiots.

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