Rating (3 out of 5)
Summary: I convinced my wife to watch “Force Majeure” the other night. She was reluctant, and I wished I hadn’t pushed her. While the concept of exploring people’s vision of themselves and events is fascinating, “Force Majeure” dragged. The whole movie is encapsulated in about 30 minutes of the film.
Plot: While eating breakfast on the slopes, a controlled avalanche head toward Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) and his family. Tomas runs for safety without his wife and children. Can you live with your husband after he abandons you seeking his own safety?
Detail: The setup of the film works well. He works too much and the family is on vacation to spend time together. The family enjoys a nice day skiing together on their first day. That was excellent. Then we have breakfast and he runs away.
The first interesting scene is when they are having dinner with a couple they met at the resort. This is the first time the film reveals Tomas’s differing point of view on the events as compared to his wife Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli). The dinner is uncomfortable as both the husband and wife struggle to relate their tale. We touch an edge of a conversation here but don’t fully dive into any issues.
The scene I enjoyed the most is when their friend Mats (Kristofer Hivju) and his girlfriend come over for dinner. Ebba insists they watch the video from Tomas’s phone to confirm Ebba’s point of view. Mats attempts some feeble explanations for Tomas’s actions all in an attempt to justify them. There were a few laughs here.
This was followed up with Mats and his girlfriend having a discussion about how Mats would react in the same situation. Turns out she didn’t think he would react all the differently. The exchange was authentic and made me chuckle.
That is where the laughs end. The movie drags as the couple and the family struggle to find each other. Blah Blah Blah. Then the movie just kind of ends. I am sure others will say this is part of the beauty of the film but I was simply bored.