Sunday, 9 September 2012

REVIEW - TEDDY BEAR


A conventional film about embracing a conventional life. Our lead character, Dennis, gradually, and painfully, unshackles himself from a life he seems to find comfortable, but obviously senses is damaging him, and makes the most of what the world has to offer an inwards 38-year-old taking his first steps as an individual. The narrative structure is the easy option for the writers, presenting event after fortunate event and not asking the potentially tougher questions, impeding the film from developing the kind of emotional maturity that might have made it more memorable. But Kim Kold, in the (none-more-)central role, displays a level of such expansive understanding of his character that he, alone, contributes a remarkable amount of complexity, yet with a focus that makes his taciturn performance accessible. He gives a thorough, natural performance - when he cries, or laughs, it has an ease that suggests an intensive personal investment in the character. There is an ironically sad scene in a Thai bar that, briefly, has some impact, showing the curious sadness of the arrangements between these Western men and their Eastern women, and a surprising intensity emerges as Dennis begins to wrench himself away from his bitter mother, which is mostly due to Kold's achievements as an actor, always filling in the gaps in the screenplay. But the portrayal of his relationship with his mother is mishandled. Her animosity serves purely to facilitate the plot, and little reason is offered to explain it, despite its prominence and importance within the film.