Duration: 103 mins
Reviewer: David Gillespie – Official HCF Artist
Sofie Grabol has become a household name in the United Kingdom through her lead role as the brilliant but troubled detective in the scandi-crime series, The Killing. Having reached season 3 on BBC 4, Arrow Film’s Nordic Noir label has announced the release of the family drama, Accused with hopes that it will gain the same success as other recent cinema releases such as the A Hijacking and The Hunt. Having been released as far back as 2005, just why has this film taken so long to gain release on these shores?
The story revolves around the difficulties facing a Danish couple called Nina (Sofie Grabol) and Henrik (Troels Lyby) as their 14-year-old daughter, Stine (Kristine Rosenkrands Mikkelsen) distances herself and then turns on her parents. Having consulted with the school psychologist for some time, the couple are shocked to find that Stine has accused her father of sexual abuse. Nina and his friend Pede (Paw Henriksen) stand by Henrik as the police take him in for questioning and later imprison him. After being acquitted at the following trial, his torment continues as friends and neighbours dessert him whilst work colleagues bully him. After months of separation from her parents, Stine is finally returned to her home. At last the truth will be revealed.
Although Grabol’s name has been the main selling point for this remarkable example of Nordic cinema, it is Troels Lyby’s devastating central performance that shines through. His character is the main focus of the story and he features in most of the film’s scenes. He bring so many different dimensions to his role it is simply breathtaking. Grabol is her usual fantastic self as Henrik’s loyal wife and Henriksen is warm and likeable as his best friend.
One nice touch by Thuessn is to keep the daughter from proceedings until the final third of the film. Stine is not onscreen until the first court case unfolds. Yet the scene that the film will be remembered for is when father and daughter are reunited. Captivating, heartbreaking and devastating are just a few words that can describe this moment. Mikkelsen says nothing but her expression and gestures say a thousand words. I could only sit is stunned disbelief and marvel at the power of what I was witnessing.
The less said about Accused the better as to reveal too much would only ruin things for others. If you are looking for a film that is going to leave you with a smile on your face and a spring in your step then forget it. This is depressing and unsettling stuff plain and simple. Watching the disintegration of a family might not be a fun subject but this feature is so professionally made and beautifully acted that you will be captivated from start to finish. A must see on DVD.