Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

The Danish Girl

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A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

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Cast

Eddie Redmayne – Einar Wegener / Lili Elbe

Alicia Vikander – Gerda Wegener

Ben Whishaw – Henrik

Matthias Schoenaerts – Hans Axgil

Amber Heard – Ulla

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Acting Up

If I’m totally honest, the acting in The Danish Girl was outstanding. The quality of performance of how Vikander and Redmayne portrayed the two lead characters was absolutely superb; faultless. I felt emotionally engaged the entire time, be it his intense stares of sadness or her anguish at their situation. This was a movie of sheer acting perfection from beginning to end – and yet when I went along, I didn’t think I would like it at all.

Vikander steals the show whenever she’s on screen. Although she spends a good percentage of The Danish Girl frizzy-haired and crying, she does it with such passion. The actress coasts through the movie by being completely convincing as pained wife Gerda. I say ‘coasts’ because it’s as if no effort is needed on her part, but all effort is used. There isn’t a hell of a lot I can elaborate on because she is truly outstanding her entire screen time. Faultless.
I could feel every tear cried, especialy towards the end of the movie during the scene involving a scarf. Cheesy though it was, it tugged at my heart strings. And I liked her. She was one of my favourite things about this movie.

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My god, I hate Eddie Redmayne. Because he’s so good.
At everything.
Literally.
The man is a top actor who really puts his all into various characters he plays; at full force he has delivered a convincing display in any movie I’ve seen him in. And The Danish Girl is no exception.
Firstly, the comedy. I was quite surprised to see funny moments during this movie. The scene where Einar first dresses as Lili and goes out in to the public had me and a few other audience members giggling with laughter. Redmayne uses some great facial expressions when being chatted up by Henrik played by Whishaw (a man at the same party as he and Gerda). He sits, head bowed with an expression of total confusion at one point which had me laughing out loud. The next scene after this involved witty dialogue between the two actors, where Redmayne again shone with comedic timing. I really enjoyed it, I didn’t expect to laugh at all during the movie so it was a nice touch.

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With his almost Edwardian-style appearance Redmayne again delivers the goods and is as convincing as he can be as Lili. I’m no fan of the chap, but I was thoroughly captivated throughout The Danish Girl. His performance was faultless. And paired with another actor equally as good caused fireworks.
A brilliant casting.

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Deep Inside

..no I’m not referring to Lili’s brand new (but somehow second-hand) vagina.
The Danish Girl touches lightly on the subject of pyschology. The going’s-on deep inside a person’s mind. How someone could think and why.
During one scene, Einar goes to see his doctor and explains his feelings towards becoming a woman. From his announcement, the doctor writes something down on his notepad which had someone in the audience tutting, and I was even quite surprised by the attitude of it. The doctor then sends for a group of specialists to come and capture him. It’s quite shocking, how a person’s feelings can be interpreted as something very bad. This raised the issue of opinion and psychology highly by making sexuality seem like a mental disorder rather than personal, emotional choice.

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You also have the scene where Gerda and Einar visit a specialist to discuss an operation. Vikander again takes total control of her character’s situation with a harrowing display of a torn wife.
The Danish Girl delves deep into the psychological, exploring the mental aspect of sexuality; not just the emotional or desire.

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What I couldn’t understand during the party scene was how no one could tell Lili was a man underneath. Unless people in the 1920’s were incredibly used to (and accepting of) men dressing as women, none of the revellers seemed to bat an eyelid whenever Lili opened her mouth. Because she had the gruff voice – of a man. Perhaps I missed the point, maybe the partygoers knew it was him dressed as a her and were playing along with it. If not, then I don’t get how unrealising they were. Lili still looked like Einar and even had his husky tones whenever she opened her-his mouth.

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For what it is, The Danish Girl is not bad at all. And actually, I was quite surprised. I thought I’d be sitting down to endure a period drama-style bore fest but ended up more entertained than expected which was nice. The movie’s winning element is its moments of comedy – unexpected but very much needed to break up the flow of sadness.
The dress sitting scene was quite momentous, with Redmayne making a massive impact just by slight facial expressions, I liked this.
Certain parts had me wondering – why a woman in the 1920’s would want to dress her husband as a woman before they attend a party, for example. Surely people of such an era would be horrified by the notion. I also found it bizarre how there was absolutely no incling of wanting to sprout a vagina and yet Einar dresses as a woman once – and wants to suddenly be a woman for the rest of his life.
But loosely based on a true story I guess I can’t complain.

So it’s hand gestures aplenty throughout The Danish Girl as a jelly-wristed Redmayne nails it once more, delivering an incredibly convincing performance alongside an equally talented Vikander.
I went along expecting complete shit.
I exited feeling thoroughly entertained.

Love it when that happens.

 

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2016 by .
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