Keeping up with our tradition of watching and reviewing some amazing content from around the world, I decided to handpick the one from Denmark which is nominated and in the top 15 International Films at the Academy Awards this year. Like you know, last year it was the Danish film Another Round that had lifted the trophy. And with high hopes, I finished watching the Danish film Flee. I had heard many words of praise for the film, however I decided to go into the film blind without watching its trailer or knowing what to expect. So then is Flee worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Based on true events, Flee follows the story of a young man who is compelled to reveal his hidden past. The story is narrated in the form of animation and a documentary and is gut wrenching and in no ways an easy watch. There is this emotional connect that you feel towards the protagonist as he makes his way out of Afghanistan and to first Russia and then Denmark. The screenplay is taut standing at just under 90 minutes. The emotions are subtle in a way that they do not wish to create an impact. Instead, all the facts are provided and the onus is on the audience to pickup emotions that connect with them. You are introduced to a tragedy very early on in the film. The Afghanistan depicted in the 1980s painted a completely different picture from what the reality is today. And fleeing leaving your home behind is just so difficult which is shown here in an emotionally moving scene. The hardships that follow are painful to watch as well. The film is an animation movie with real images been integrated into the narrative to give it a bit of a documentary feel. This itself was a major challenge that could have been a distraction. Instead, this acts as a harsh reminder throughout – that this is a true story. Even the strongest of souls would shed a tear or two as the protagonist is separated with his family. The concept of homosexuality is also nicely explored. The film though ends with a lot of hope almost like a lullaby after a nightmare. A brilliantly penned screenplay, so touching and heartfelt.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are minimally used and majorly conversational. They manage to keep you invested and engaged in the drama throughout. The BGM is a softened melancholy that is subtle yet enough to haunt you and it definitely does its bit to heighten the drama. The animation is sketchy but good. Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen touches every beat of the protagonist so perfectly. The subject was delicate and he never tries to impose the thoughts of the protagonist onto the viewers. Instead he allows it to flow and eventually the emerges on top.
The voiceovers are pretty good here. All the characters carry that pain within them which is nicely broughout through the dialogues which they speak. The emotions that flow are sure to leave a lump in your throat while probably shedding a tear. Overall, a great job in the voiceovers department.
Flee is a moving yet profound docu-drama that is so heartfelt that it will leave a lump in your throat. Highly Highly Recommended.