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“Munch” film review: An ambition with four Munch actors

“Munch” film review: An ambition with four Munch actors

To chronicle the career of the famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Norwegian director Henrik Martin Dalsbakken abandons the drama of the traditional biophoto station. Instead, it focuses on four stages in the life of one of the most important contemporary artists, each stage portrayed by a different actor.

In 1885, when the young Monk is 21, he wanders into the sand dunes of a holiday resort and begins an unhappy affair with a married woman.

Nearly ten years later he finds himself in today’s Berlin, where his planned exhibition was canceled at the last second. In the next phase of his life – Munch was now an established artist – he was admitted to a mental hospital in Copenhagen and receiving psychiatric care. Dahlsbakken narrates this episode from oblique angles in tight black-and-white photographs. Finally, 80-year-old Monk – played by Anne Kriegsvoll – tries to protect his business from the Nazis in Oslo.

The director ambitiously allows different life stages to intertwine asynchronously, but has little to add to the clichés of the brilliant, misunderstood artist.

information: NOR 2023. 104 minutes Written by Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken. With Alfred Ecker Strand, Frederik Hauer.

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