A Somewhat Gentle Man
Ulrik (Stellan Skarsgaard), a laconic killer, has just been reluctantly freed from 12 years in the slammer. He is advised to look forward. But he has to cope with his boss and his gang, his ex, his son who tells people he is dead, his daughter-in-law who doesn't approve of having a murderer in the family, and the snitch who sent him to prison. His old boss sets him up with a job as a car mechanic, and finds him a grim room to call home.
Even so, the days flow by in relative quiet for the pony-tailed and sorry-looking Ulrik. But people expect things. His boss, Jensen, expects him to kill the snitch who reported his crime. Ulrik wants to get it done, but his life gets in his way. His stone-faced landlady expects sexual favors for her hospitality, and Ulrik dutifully obliges. And when the owner of the garage where he works has a heart attack, he expects him to keep the garage open and stay away from the bookkeeper Merete. Ulrik wants to both the things he asks, but doing isn't as easy as wanting.
Stellan Skarsgaard (Good Will Hunting, Insomnia, Dogville and Breaking the Waves) plays The Somewhat Gentle man to perfection. He makes all the right moves, and plays even the very un-sexy sex scenes convincingly. He never overplays, even though it would have been very easy to do so in this movie - and does a wonderful job in reluctantly and melancholically putting one foot in front of the other and meeting the world as it is.
But it is not only Skarsgaard - the movie is full of strange, oddball characters, director Hans Petter Moland has done a great job in putting together an almost perfect team of actors. I especially liked Jorunn Kjellsby as Karen Margrethe and Bjørn Sundquist as Sven. Overall, the acting is outstanding and the filming is excellent too, very noir-ish.
The film is strange and different. It takes a little while to grab you, and then it starts to just become very fascinating. Also, it is at times laugh-out-loud funny. The ending is very surprising and just right - magnificent. It's a kind of dark feel good comedy / crime fiction that I found fascinating. I recommend you take a look!
Product Details - US version
- Actors: Stellan Skarsgard, Bjorn Floberg, Gard B. Eidsvold, Jorunn Kjellsby, Jannike Kruse
- Directors: Hans Petter Moland
- Format: Color, DVD, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Language: Norwegian
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Unrated
- Studio: Strand Releasing
- DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011
- Run Time: 103 minutes