- Running time:
- 95 minutes
- Ulrich Thomsen -
- Stine Stengade -
- Paprika Steen -
- Bodil Udsen -
- Lars Brygmann -
Grappling with some kind of mid-life crisis, Mikael (Ulrich Thomsen) has taken a long-term leave of absence from his job to focus on nothing in particular. He stays at home, goes rowing, writes in a journal and wonders why his marriage to Sigrid (Paprika Steen) has become so unsatisfying. When his brother-in-law mentions a clinical trial for a new anti-depressant drug, Mikael quickly signs up, but his behavior begins to change in unpredictable, and increasingly dangerous, ways.
The buzz: Filmmaker Kristian Levring was one of the founders of the ‘90s European indie film movement Dogme, which led to his solid and very dark 2000 film debut “The King is Alive.” Like most Dogme directors he’s left the concept behind and this is his third feature film.
The verdict: What if the person you love suddenly went crazy? What if you yourself suddenly went crazy? “Fear Me Not” advances the frightening notion that mental stability hangs by a thread, and that any average person might have a sociopath lurking inside them. It’s the kind of concept Alfred Hitchcock would have loved, and Levring’s low-key thriller builds significant tension from Mikael’s erratic behavior—the movie never explodes, it’s a slow burner. The lack of a big payoff may leave some viewers frustrated, but the solid performances, crisp direction and nerve-rattling premise add up to a hauntingly effective little film.
Did you know? Steen appeared in the first three Dogme films: “The Idiots,” “The Celebration” and “Mifune,” but she had not worked with Levring before this project.
[“Fear Me Not” is available through “IFC Festival Direct,” a video on demand service from select cable providers.]
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