Gabriel and Elias are two very different brothers. Gabriel is a worn down university professor and Elias is a man whose only concern is women and trivial knowledge. During a lecture Gabriel receives a phone call. Their father is dead. Things take a turn when the brothers learn through a videotape recorded by their now late father, that he in fact wasn't their biological father. Gabriel and Elias discover that their biological father lives on the island Ork. They set out to the island and here they meet their real family. The brothers' first meeting with the family doesn't go as expected. Gabriel and Elias are stranded in the marshland of Ork. Here they meet the mayor of Ork and his daughter Ellen, a neurotic woman who hates her life, herself, her father and the island. Surrounded by abnormal people, Gabriel and Elias discover the truth about themselves and their relatives. A truth that while paralyzing them also sets them free.Written by
Anders Thomas Jensen
Wtf! reactions and giggling through tragicomic environment
In recent decades, in the West, it has been difficult to create a production where "variously challenged" persons are subject to irony, mockery, with characteristic violence and non-piety. The US is probably out of the question already, only Brits and Scandinavians have still dared to create something different within the subject mentioned. Mænd & høns is another fine example of them, with excellent script and direction (Anders Thomas Jensen) and strong ensemble cast (virtually all performers belong to the finest contemporary Danish film actors) have provided a meaty and distinct result.
True, not all characters are at the same level, e.g. Søren Malling and Nicolas Bro could not reveal their talent in full, but David Dencik, Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas were brilliant again - and in such different roles! No villains, no clerks, no policemen... Those not acquainted with those names should definitely see other films with their presence - to realise how versatile actors they are.
It is evident that some social strata may feel themselves affected and somewhat resentful, but the film should not be taken too seriously. However, it contains multiple warnings and attitudes that can/should be avoided.
All in all, another good Danish film, recommended to them fond of twisted humour connected with society-related stuff to be pondered on and over.
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