Acclaimed Danish pianist sets out to a mysterious area known only as "The Zone" in hopes of reclaiming his memories and reconnecting with his past. Zetterstrom is a pianist who has sacrificed human emotion in order to achieve perfection. Though many years have passed since Zetterstrom left his native Copenhagen to live in New York, he is now drawn back to his birthplace in order to take part in a gala concert. Upon arriving in Copenhagen, Zetterstrom is contacted by a messenger from an off-limits area of the city known only as "The Zone" and offered an opportunity to remember his long forgotten love for the beautiful Andrea. Yet while "The Zone" can indeed resurrect the memories of the past, Zetterstrom will soon discover that there are limits to what one can accomplish by visiting this mysterious and magical landscape.
Directed by: Christoffer Boe
. Starring: Ulrich Thomsen
, Helena Christensen
, Henning Moritzen
, Niels Skousen
, Ellen Hillingsø
, Nicolas Bro
, Ida Dwinger
, Benedikte Hansen
, Svetoslav Korolev
, Tommy Kenter
, Peder Thomas Pedersen
, Simon Bonde
, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
. Music by: Thomas Knak
Filmed primarily with hand-held camera, the picture is almost as gritty as some Dogme 95-movies. The camera is slightly shaky and keeps fast-zooming at faces all through the movie: Faces are important. Looks are important. Ulrich Thompsen (The Celebration) is the main character, the pianist Zetterstrøm, who is the person, around whom the film centers. Zetterstrøm is not really living life and playing piano, rather he is playing piano and living life through his piano. He is the archetypical introverted person, who lives in his own world, keeping distance to other people and of course love. A chance meeting with a beautiful woman, played by Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, alters his life, but his unbalanced self cannot truly recognize or accept his own feelings, so they part.
10 years later - the movies starts. A voice-over by Henning Moritzen (The Celebration, Cries and Whispers) tells us that Zetterstrøm has forgotten about his past, that he is even more secluded from the world of feelings and drawn into perfecting his piano playing. The Voice-over is also a character in the film - Tom, in all probability some fictitious person made by Zetterstrøms own mind.
Tom wants Zetterstrøm to retrieve his lost memory. This is the central quest of the film.
Materialized in the middle of Copenhagen is The Zone - the area, where Zetterstrøm and the woman parted has now turned into a deserted zone, where people can't enter. The "walls" of the zone can't be entered. The Zone is a picture - something you can see, but not touch. The Zone is Zetterstrøms memory, his past.
An abstract story now unfolds, as Tom and his assistant invites Zetterstrøm back to Copenhagen, where he gets the chance of entering The Zone. On a semi-realistic level, Zetterstrøm returns to Copenhagen to play a concert - and this mix of abstraction, materialized psychology and realism continues throughout. --
The voice-over is constantly guiding us, but as it is also analyzing the immediate situation for us, we as audience have to think ahead of it; There's more to the film, than the voice-over tells us. The mood is very dark, very abstract - the intro somehow reminds of Bergmans "Persona", although not as Freudian in it's symbols - and the film seems very focused. It has a nostalgic feeling to it - Zetterstrøm wandering alone in a secluded world, as walking in his own self. The symbols are everywhere - symbols of past, symbols of love, symbols of frame of mind. It's very scary, although funny at certain points - the script is done by Danish stand-up comedian and quite intelligent-wise gifted, Michael Wulff (who worked with Boe on an Art House comedy-series called "Kissmeyer Basic"). The humour may be thought of as getting the mood in imbalance one or two times, but otherwise it's quite nice.
The acting is superb. Ulrich is playing his favourite kind of role - introverted, mostly quiet and Bill Murray-like, sometimes shouting. His play opposite Helena, making her debut on the big screen, is fabulous - she really has the perfect eyes and voice for this dream-like character. Also Henning Moritzen is perfect as The all-knowing guy, who is teasing us.
Not flawless, but this movie is yet an interesting film from the new major upcoming danish film director, Christopher Boe.
Review by tariboventola from the Internet Movie Database.