Reconstruction is the kind of movie that demands absolute attention from the viewer, lest he/she becomes lost.  And then it goes a step further by trying to obfuscate things and pushing for confusion, even telling the audience at the beginning to pay attention.  There are basically four characters.  August and Aimee are married.  They do not spend much time together, and August is extremely busy with his book.  Alex and Simone are dating, but Alex does not appreciate the relationship he has with Simone.  Things are coming to a head, whether Alex realizes it or not.  To complicate things further, actress Maria Bonnevie (Falling Sky, The 13th Warrior) plays both Aimee and Alex.

This sounds fine so far.  Alex (Nickolaj Lie Kaas, Open Hearts, Old Men in New Cars) meets Aimee in a bar, and asks if they will be going to Rome together.  She acts confused, but also seems to know him from before.  The two flirt before going back to her hotel room and spending the night together.  When they wake up, Alex leaves, and discovers that he seems to have disappeared from the memory of everybody he knows.  His father and girlfriend have no idea who he is.  His apartment is gone.  The only person who knows him is Aimee, and as they clandestinely meet, they fall deeper in love.  Weirder still, August (Krister Henriksson, Cabin Fever, Faithless) is writing a book with characters named Alex and Aimee, that seem to be doing exactly what the actors are. 

There are two movies in Reconstruction, and the one that the viewer pays attention to will determine what they take away from the film.  The first, and the one in all of the advertising, is discovering what happened to Alex.  Why did everybody forget him?  What's the deal with August's book?  It's all very Sex and Lucia-like in how reality seems to warp, mixing the real and the unreal.  On this count, writer/director Christopher Boe (Hr. Boe & Co.'s Anxiety) and co-writer Mogen Rukov (The Inheritance, It's All About Love) fail.  The story never resolves itself, and tends to just disappear into the mist.  There is no satisfactory conclusion to what is going on, and worse, Alex does not seem all that distressed about things.  Instead, he'll go all of the frustration and anger he has melts away when he meets Aimee, who may or may not remember him.

It's okay that the story has no real ending because Reconstruction is all about love.  It is about the relationship between Alex and Aimee, and, as the narrator mentions at the beginning and the end, is about seeing what constitutes their love (constructing it).  In this sense, the film fares much better.  By forcing the two to get to know each other nearly every time they meet, Boe makes Alex immediately drill down to what is important.  Alex soon knows exactly what drives the relationship between the couple.  Boe gave Reconstruction a grainy, look, and used the shaky cam technique such that at times it feels like the viewer is spying on the two of them.  This serves to heighten the sense of intimacy between Alex and Aimee, since the viewer can witness their quiet moments together. 

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 29 minutes, Danish and Swedish with English subtitles, Not Rated but contains language and some sensuality, most likely an R.

Back to Movies