February 25, 2008

Adam's Apples: A tart treat


Reviewer: Diana Slampyak
Rating (out of 5): ****

This funny, irreverent film by Danish director Anders Thomas Jensen (The Green Butchers, Flickering Lights, screenwriter of Mifune) will keep you laughing from its start, as soon as Adam (Ulrich Tomsen) steps off a bus, keys it as it passes by, and then meets Ivan (After the Wedding's Mads Mikkelsen). We immediately know Adam is a bad-ass con fresh out of prison, sent to Ivan's care for 'rehabilitation,' and that things will quickly go awry. Adam, you see, is a Neo-Nazi while Ivan, a devout reverend, is as Christian as they come.

Add to the mix the two other ex-cons, Gunner and Khalid, and a host of comedic clashes come to pass. Gunner is an alcoholic who's supposedly on the wagon, but who drinks every moment on screen. He steals Adam's mobile phone repeatedly, and gets a beating each time. Meanwhile, Khalid is a would-be reformed terrorist who nevertheless goes hunting for humans every chance he gets. Ivan turns a blind eye and claims success in his program of reform because of a past trauma he can't get over.

The titular fruit comes into play when Adam tells Ivan his ambition: to bake a pie, smartass that he is. So Ivan puts him in charge of the apple tree. When it becomes riddled with crows, Ivan tells the gang to shoot the birds and soon they'll learn to stay away. And I'll leave it at that.

Adam's Apples is absolutely hilarious. The acting is perfectly understated, the gimmicks uncheesy, and the plot quickly paced. You'll laugh when, for example, Ivan thinks Adam's photo of Hitler is his uncle, and when you find out Ivan's bizarre secrets. Jensen's film is a tart treat.

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Posted by cphillips at February 25, 2008 1:37 PM