24 August 2006

Naboer (Next Door)

In 1999 Pål Sletaune rejected the chance to direct American Beauty as he thought the script wasn’t good enough. He was nominated by the trade press Variety way back in 1998 as one of the most exciting directors in the world. This is his third film, all three of which he has written and directed. There is a lot of talk that this is probably the greatest Norwegian film ever made. In my opinion it is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. The only flaw in this film is that the idea was stolen from my mind – I’ve been slowly adding to a very similar film in my head for the past three years! Unfortunately I can’t tell you what my idea was about without spoiling a large part of this masterpiece. What I can tell you is this film is all about John, a guy who has just split up with his girlfriend and starts noticing his two sexy neighbours (naboer in Norwegian). After the opening fifteen minutes the film starts to get very freaky – it’s the type of film you want to go and see if you thought LA Confidential was too straight forward. The final hour creates all sorts of emotions running around your head, building up to the intense dread and fear over the final ten minutes. Some people have said the ending is explained too much (nowhere near like a Holywood film though) but I disagree; I think the little clues scare you when you realise things however there are plot twists right until the end. Do I feel ripped off that the film is only 77 minutes long? Absolutely not, this film is perfectly paced and anymore would be wasted and patronising. Five stars our of five and it sits up there alongside Toy Story, The Exorcist and Irreversible on my all time greats list.