enduring sadness

Prague is an incredibly sad film but not the sort that you need a tissue box at the ready. More a lump in your throat as you relate to scenes or characters presented in a very cinematic and atmospheric film.

Apart from just wanting to go to the film, we went to see this film in the hope we would see glimpses of Prague which is still my favourite city [1].

There certainly are glimpses of the prominent attractions of the city, for example, the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle. But I was also reminded of the feelings I had for the city when scenes included the bare trees along the Vtlava (Moldau) River, and driving and walking over the cobblestone streets through the city often at pace, and language difficulties at the hotel.

The plot appears fairly straightforward, but as the marriage of the two principal characters unravels, so does the feeling that you know what is expected to happen next.

As Christoffer (Mads Mikkelsen) finds out more about his absent and now dead father, he and Maja (Stine Stengade) reveal more of themselves to each other and the audience. They are on friendly terms, but the added emotion of their errand in Prague exacerbates their distancing relationship tearing at the tenuous strings that are holding their marriage together.

The film ends after a tight 92 minutes, but there is not resolution in everything.

One of the often quoted lines in the film is “Life is hard, you can’t have it all.” and the lawyer, changes this to “Life is hard. You bend it or you break.” when he sees that Christoffer is becoming exasperated with this well-worn advice.

[1] Voted top of the list after only one visit as part of our History of Science Tour.

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