4 stars out of 5
This movie is scheduled for DVD release on July 10, but you can still find it in a few theaters. It is in Danish, English and Hindi with English subtitles, and it was the Danes' entry in Oscar's Best Foreign Film category. My general experience is that by the time the special committee of judges narrows this category down to five finalists, they are generally pretty damn good films. This year was no exception; I thought the winner, Lives of Others, from Germany, deserved the Oscar it got. My wife Vicki believes this film is even better. It is the story of a man doing charity work in India, who must return to Denmark in order to obtain major funding from a quirky billionaire. He is surprised to find the billionaire married to a former lover, and the surprises just keep on coming after that. This is not a detective story; after the first few surprises the story arc is clear; even the big surprise is foreshadowed if you're paying close attention. My point is that, as with so many European films, this is a character study, and the enjoyment is in the journey, not the destination. There is plenty of plot, but it is not plot-driven in the American style. Not a barrel of laughs, but definitely art.