Tough questions of life if you were to learn that the person you know is not the same!! And even worse if your family learned it at the same time!! Quite an intimidating view and far-reaching emotional consequences that the Swedish director Ruben Ostlund tries to emphasis about the story of an avalanche in the Alps with his new film “Force Majeure” (Tittled as Turist in Swedish)
It’s the film that poses us the question and tries to dig over it, but not for an absolute answer, for sure a probable solution. I found deeply fascinated by how intricate and smart the movie well be made, much more remarkable are perfecting the mode of viewers tone through the emotions, the retorts and intense consequences, the frightening imbibe of a man and how difficult it is to define endless underneath our civilized behavior or live up to modern ideas of masculinity. Ostlund pulls off a remarkable testimonial and offers up an examination in Force Majeure
The film begins with the factual moments of incidences and transposes from the first moments about the responses of the Swedish family consists of Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke), Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli), and their kids Harry and Vera, on their vacation at a ski resort in the French Alps. The fervent, unseen photographer encourages the quasi-happy family to pair together in a series of increasingly ridiculous and elaborate pictures. The background of the French Alps establish the subtle stroke of probable detail- the magnanimity of the ice clad mountain and the undercurrent flaws between husband and wife duo of Tomas and Ebba, centered around the moment of dread that is the irremediable shifts the family dynamic.
On their day two of the holiday, sitting and eating lunch at an outdoor cafe through a spectacular view of the mountains, watching and thus witness a controlled avalanche. The snow cascades down the slopes, everyone pulls out their cell phones, but as the avalanche torrent, shows no sign of slowing down and panic follows. Ebba, bent over her kids in protection, calls for Tomas, and she sees he has fled the scene. A cloud of white snow overwhelms the restaurant and the screen. The shot gradually pause as the director Ostlund lets the viewers watch as the white cloud scatters, shimmering as a innocuous foggy residue that ascended from the avalanche below.
So everyone in the family looks fine after the avalanche stops and as even before reaching the hotel, parting an ominous but non-threatening blizzard by the stir that quickly springs way to the morning sunshine anew. But the Tomas’ panic scoot are not been forgotten, not by the children and least of all by Ebba, who’s now left to wonder exactly the nature of man she’s married to, and the unsettling scenario of what should had happened if the avalanche had not stopped.
Writer-director Ruben Ostlund centers the film on the echoes of event and the near fatal incident, of what it exposes in Tomas and Ebba’s previously troubled relations with each another. The movie prepares relatively the connect through the unusual strokes and the initial sublime passages of relative domestic contentment, giving way to uncertainty, indistinctness, fear, and the unshakeable knowledge that what’s been done are never be fully undone or flawlessly erased
The film hinges deeply on the family. We see Ebba clearly struggling to communicate and with the pressure of mid age personality and being a mother attribute to the responsibility and blame; the other side, Tomas inadvertently rationalizes her mounting doubts about their marriage. In one of the conversation that turns argument with her mother, Ebba propagates more and more by the notion that other women of her age still get to enjoy their sexuality and freedom as free human beings, though she squabbles and distress add more being with Tomas over expensive ski trips that nevertheless consent her with a growing pit in her stomach.
Force Majeure shrewdly plays with the husband-wife obsession. Tomas’s tasks as a dad do not trump his own selfish instinct and so his disgusted wife, Ebba never accepts her husband’s natural behaviour was ever right. Well along the movie, Tomas’s friend Mats attempts to justify and similarly prove his friends selfish escape as a moment of instinctive self defence. “In survival mode, he might not be able to live up to his values,” and are the explanations of Mats. Tomas, meanwhile, denies any wrongdoing, refusing to admit he ran away from the table at all.
Johannes Bah Kuhnke’s role as Tomas in his performance offers a captivating rendering of man surrounded by a sense of shame that he desperately tries to keep contained beneath a stubborn refusal to accept the reality. Ebba, dismayed by Tomas’s reaction and his subsequent lies about it, becomes a woman distraught by the rescindment of what she sees as a basic social responsibility. “I can’t identify with anyone who would trample on their own kids to survive,” she says at one point and though her embarrassment and the discomfort with her husband had it about are much beyond the acceptable social norms and even extent being a fall guy. She also expresses displeasure and ever more uncomfortable by her friend’s choice to live in an open relationship with her husband after having two kids together.
The film uses the daily structure of life on vacation to show us small variations in how things work among Tomas and Ebba, and once the fractures start to appear in their marriage, things get bad very quickly. Any relations until it’s tested cannot be proved the resilience and historically speaking, it is the place of the man in a family unit to provide and to protect, but in modern culture, what are we really protecting them from? We do not face daily life-threatening challenges. We live a soft life, and if we’re honest about things, we have to admit that we have become something other than what we once were. When Tomas runs for his life, he doesn’t make the conscious choice to flee. It is a reaction, nothing more, and it haunts him. Ostlund invites the audience to look at self in ever candid manner and plugs out our inconsistencies, usually attempts to hold us for the worst hypocrisies in life could play for. For a second, Force Majeure is a provoking film as this may well brush off our surface layer, beneath the icy truth.
Ostlund is stronger visually as he is on the script. The visuals are spectacular, especially the avalanche, photographed by Fredrik Wenzel and Fred Arne Wergeland using an ARRI Alexa, creating the rich texture, gorgeous digital camerawork and invisible as that’s the place to be in and to be sucked into the whirl of life….
- Writer & Director: Rubeen Ostlund
- Producer: Marie Kjellson; Eric Hemmendorff
- Editor: Jacob Schulsinger
- Photographer: Fredrik Wenzel & Fred Arne Wergeland
- Music: Olla Flottum
- Casting: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli & Clara Wettergren
- Initial release: October 24, 2014 (USA)
- Run time of 120 minutes
- Languages: Norwegian, Swedish, French, English