Turned: Review

Turned: Review

Turned: Review. By Hugues Porquier.

Turned is a short film directed by Anders Walter, who won the Oscar of Best Live Action Short Film for his film “Helium” in 2014.  The Danish is also back to writing for this short film, which he had dropped for the feature film “I Kill Giants” (2017). His previous films “9 meters” (2012) and “I Kill Giants” (2017) have also been a great success with viewers but also with the press. We could expect Anders Walter to offer us a captivating film worthy of the previous ones.

It features Kasper (played by Sylvester Byder), a young Danish man who seems to be living an ideal life, exciting studies, an attentive girlfriend Veronika (played by Clara Rosager) and a budding career as a racing driver.  But reminiscences of his past prevent him from enjoying this seemingly ideal life.  Very violent flashbacks of his father’s (played by Jacob Lohmann) aabuse on his mother (played by Kaja Kamuk), constantly assail him. 

It soon becomes clear that he has no particular passion for racing, it is simply the stifling pressure his father puts on him that forces him to continue. He has only one dream, only one desire, to get away from his father.  The flashbacks Kasper witnesses are always related to alcohol, which is one of the central elements of the film, in response to a real problem present among young Danes but also among many young people around the world. 

Indeed, one of the two producers of the film, ‘TUBA’ is an independent Danish organization that offers help, advice and therapy to young people who have experienced alcohol or drug abuse.  The film rightly depicts the horror of a child’s life in an alcohol-ridden home and the consequences this can have on her or his future. Depression, loneliness, alcoholism…

The direction is totally under control. The intimate life scenes between Veronika and Kasper are credible and very touching, and the car racing scenes are very lively and dynamic! In just 20 minutes, Anders Walter offers us an impressive range of what he can do with his camera. The work of the actors is also remarkable, Sylvester Byder, only 21 years old, is already really convincing, and we hope to see him again soon in Denmark or abroad. 

Danish films are increasingly exported internationally thanks to great directors such as Lars Von Trier (Dogville, Melancholia, The House That Jack Built), Thomas Vinterberg (Drunk, Jagten) Nicolas Winding Refn (Neon Demon, Drive) or emblematic actors such as Mads Mikkelsen in the recent and brilliant “Drunk” (2020) and in 2022 in “The Fantastic Animals 3”. But we can also see, thanks to Anders Walter and his Oscar in 2014, that even lesser-known Danish directors manage to please the international scene. 

In “Turned”, Anders Walter once again tackles the theme he masters best, adolescence, and it works very well. You can sense that he understands this generation that he tries to portray through his films. In only 20 minutes he manages to make us experience the credible transition of a young man who finally decides to destroy the unhealthy relationship he had with his father.

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