LIFESTYLE (17 min)

Review (Spoiler Alert)

It starts like a highly polished advertisement of a luxury product. It could be anything. A shiny car that is being washed meticulously. A house with floor to ceiling high one-piece glass sliding glass doors. A modernist designer house. Perfect smiles and hence teeth. Happily married picture-perfect couple. It keeps you guessing where the storyline is leading.

The storyline starts to unfold when it’s obvious that the perfect couple is preparing for a perfect dinner party. There, not so close friends (neighbours?) arrive for dinner. Photos are taken. Laughs and (overcooked!) lamb is served, but the saving grace is the wine-cooler filled with Cabernet-Sauvignon.

Almost evening now with summer sun still lingering around the horizon, the host leaves to get dessert while the hostess entertains the guest couple with small chitter chatter. The following sequence with barbecue accident and the reactions of the hostess and the guests are a joy to hold. They are not shocking. Yes, they are disturbing, but not shocking. The husband gathers himself and limps around to prepare coffee, with a bandage and even refuses help when the hostess offers to help out of embarrassment by his obvious worsening, by the minute, of basic motor skills. All along you sit and cringe at the reactions of the three spectators, who fuss about a damaged camera, ignore the physical pain and emotional deterioration at display and exchange sly smiles at how unsuccessful the evening turned out to.

One cannot help but feel pity for the hosting couple. They both are at loss. Physical and emotional. But by the last 3 minutes you have left no sympathy for any of the four principal characters. This is exactly how a huge portion of modern Swedish, and some other developed Western countries as well, society reacts when confronted with other’s anguish and torment. They simply walk away and pretend not to have looked. I’ve already discussed this point in detail in my earlier review of SEAT 26D. But this film does such a superb job by putting the mirror directly in front of the people and showing what we all do. The table is set. The elaborate dinner is served. Exquisite wine is flowing. But where is the human connection that we all seek?

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