Director: Jens Lien
Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurvaag) stands alone waiting for a subway, blank faced and despondent. He tries to ignore a couple dispassionately French kissing, but their slurping and grunting fills his head until it is ready to explode, until it is blissfully drowned by an approaching train.
Suddenly Andreas is the sole passenger on a bus passing through endless barren terrain for what seems an eternity, arriving at its destination – a petrol station in the middle of nowhere. He is met by someone who appears official who drives him to the city, shows him his flat and gives him money to get him on his feet.
In the morning he starts his new job, with his own office and not too much to do. Everyone is friendly. He meets a beautiful woman, Anne Britt (Petronella Barker) and moves in with her. He makes friends. Life is perfect. Too perfect. There are no challenges, no frustrations. Nothing goes wrong. He chops off his finger and it magically repairs itself.
He notices there are no children. Booze doesn’t get him drunk no matter how much he drinks. Hot chocolate has no flavour. He feels nothing, neither joy nor anguish. He is obsessively drawn to the sound of a distant violin emanating from a basement flat and finally engages with another soul who longs to feel. But at what cost?
Is this heaven or is it hell? This surreal Norwegian indy was my favourite flick of 2007. From the opening scene director Jens Lien draws you into a bizarre alternate universe, with just enough information to raise questions about the nature of reality, human longing and the meaning of life and death – and then leaves you to answer them on your own. The DVD includes deleted scenes and a behind the scenes documentary. I’d skip the doco and keep the magic intact.