It is 1970s Denmark. Erik,
a professor of architecture, is married to Anna, a celebrated
news reporter. Together with their teenage daughter Freja the three make up a happy, attractive and liberal family.
When Erik inherits his childhood home from his late, estranged father, he’s set upon selling it – but Anna has other notions. With the blunt honesty that is part and parcel in their marriage, she tells Erik she is bored of his company, shoehorning him into inviting their friends to come and live with them. So the “Kollektivit’: the commune, is born.
As the cracks in their marriage that sparked the new lifestyle only widen as the commune grows, what began as an innocent embrace of radical living becomes steadily more complicated.
Based, we’re told, on Vinterberg’s own childhood experiences, The Commune is bittersweet comedy and shrewd social commentary. Vinterberg captures the ’70s aesthetic perfectly with brilliantly conceived costume and set-design, and creates an authentic portrait of this hippie community: a portrait that never shies away from the exposing the less romantic side to the ‘free love’ era.
The liberal lifestyle that Anna has chosen eventually nudges her to the sidelines of her marriage and her career, and the liberal dream steadily becomes a nightmare. Vinterberg cleverly exposes a fine line between pragmatism and ruthlessness as Erik begins to see that what's done cannot be undone.
The couple’s daughter, played brilliantly by Martha Hansen, keenly observes all the events around her with an air of amused curiosity and fear. Vinterberg deftly highlights the mutability and pains of adult relationships – from a wealth of different perspectives. He also shows the confusion that is ever present in sexuality: both burgeoning and mature.
|What||The Commune, film review Berlin 2016|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
29 Jul 16 – 29 Sep 16, 'The Commune' UK release date: Friday 29 July 2016. Times vary according to cinema
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to the film's IMDB page|