its moviemaking pedigree by flawlessly utilising the perilous Billy
Wilder-inspired protagonistís voice-over from beyond the grave in its
opening sequence, Just Another Love Story lets its audience know from
the start that itís anything but.
Far into the ether, Jonas begins
the tale of how he came to be laid out on a rainy Danish street, with
all the aplomb of the departed. A happy family man, Jonasí life misses
nothing; not the love of his wife or friends, nor beautiful children.
In fact, we donít know how anyone could ask for anything more until the
fateful day that Jonas and his family are involved in a car crash.
Having barely escaped with his life, Jonas rushes out to help the
catalyst of the accident, a teary-eyed bewildered girl who falls
unconscious in Jonasí arms. This triggers an unexpected reaction from
Jonas who becomes desperate to check on the welfare of the comatose
victim, lying to hospital staff in order to visit her. The lie
multiplies like a pair of rabbits and Jonas goes from fibbing about
being Juliaís lover to being so warmly accepted by her family that he
decides to make the role his reality, abandoning his family and
seemingly all good sense over this falsehood. What Jonas doesnít know
is that Julia is also hiding a few secrets which are safely buried under
amnesia once she comes to. Julia only recalls in flashback that the man
Jonas is meant to be was an abuser who Julia shot in self-defense and
left for dead in her flight. As we all know from watching decades of
cinematic thrillers, some skeletons wonít stay buried.
Truly creepy stuff, kids; the
worldís first existentialist slasher film. Who knew the latest masters
of the scary movie would hail from Scandinavia? Reflecting the mood and
gravity of last yearís Let the Right One In, Just Another Love Story
uses similar washed-out palettes, overcast skies and moody half-lighting
that become as much a character in the film as any actor. Juliaís
pulsing flashback revelations of violence and her bandaged mystery
visitor are shudder-worthy. The unexpected plot twists spiral into a
climax of half truths, sex, stolen identities, middle-age angst and
murder. Itís an Alfred Hitchcock movie directed by Ingmar Bergman.
Actually, itís directed by Ole Bornedal, whose previous thrilled 1994ís
Nightwatch made an international splash and heís lost none of those
goose-bump-inducing chops. Just Another Love Story is sharp, smart and
hypnotic and will leave viewers unsettled even after the ending, which
is a brilliant stroke because we already know how it all turns out.
Bornedalís talent lies in keeping us on the edge of our seats even after
we get there.
~ The Lady Miz Diva
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