Wednesday, 9 March 2016

You, the Living (2007)

Original Title

Du levande


Comedy | Drama


Roy Andersson




Elisabeth Helander, Jugge Nohall, Jan Wikblad, Björn Englund, Birgitta Persson, Lennart Eriksson, Jessika Lundberg, Eric Bäckman, Rolf Engström, Jessica Nilsson, Pär Fredriksson, Leif Larsson, Olle Olson, Håkan Angser, Patrik Anders Edgren, Kemal Sener, Gunnar Ivarsson


In a Swedish city intertwine the stories of people struggling with loneliness and anxiety, caged in an unsatisfactory life and lack of future prospects.


Roy Andersson's second entry in the Living trilogy, "You, the Living" is a wonderful poetic film that portrays humanity in a unique way.

The first thing that you notice is the lack of plot: there is none. There are no central characters neither: the film never focuses on one character for too long, but switch between characters whose lives are vaguely intersected.

However, this lack of plot, and those - mostly nameless - characters have a story to tell. A tale that shows compassion for the human condition and the misery of humankind; a tale that focuses on the insignificant moments of our lives that make us who we are; a tale that reminds us we all are just humans.

Given the topic the film deals with, "You, the Living" is surprisingly funny and heartwarming and it finds humour, poignancy and tenderness in absurd situations.

In a continuous alternation between real scenes and scenes drawn from dreams, nightmares and fantasies, the film manages to build up suspense, and the fascinating thing about it is that each of the scenes could be enjoyed on its own, but together they contain a wonderful insight into humanity.

Once again, there are no close-ups and almost no camera movements, and is those few scenes where the camera does move the contrast between life and movement is excellent and powerful. In the most intense moments, the characters talk facing the camera, directly addressing the viewer like they are pouring their hearts out to us, like they are crying for our help.

The music is fascinating and really adds to the film, and contributes to the making of the best scenes: the Louisiana Brass Band playing Mozart and the woman singing beautifully in the bathtub.

A real gem that surpassed the great "Songs from the Second Floor".

Mention-Worthy Quotes

Mia: Serving non-alcoholic beer with food that smells so good. It's torture!
Uffe's mother.: I only want what's best for you.
Mia: Best! Is this what's best for me? Enduring this damned existence... with all the shit and deceit and wickedness and staying sober? How can you expect or even want a single poor bugger to put up with it without being drunk? It's inhuman. Only a sadist would demand that.

1 comment :

  1. I remember watching this movie couple of years ago and tbh I understood nothing. But this movie has lot of critical acclaim, guess I have to watch it again.