EIFF: Komma review

Another review from the frontlines of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. And yes, we're sure we spelled the title correctly.

When I read about this movie in the official EIFF magazine, I was intrigued to see it, as the description read thus: “He’s just back from the dead, and she’s got no memory. A perfect match.” It sounded weirdly intresting, to say the least.

When the first scene in your movie is a man waking up in a body bag, it’s a little grasping. When the second scene has him knocking out the graveyard shift coroner for his scarf and shoes and stealing another dead body’s identity, it gets a little more fun. Peter De Wit (Arno Hintjens) quickly steals the identity of a man named Lars Ericsson, moving his background from Belgium to Sweden. The first person to bear the brunt of all this stolen information is Lucie Brückner (Valérie Lemaître), a young artist whose memory is deteriorating. Needless to say, lying to a woman whose memory has betrayed her doesn’t inspire a lot of faith.

For a first direction, Martine Doyen does a brilliant job. Some scenes in Komma are dark and brooding, while others show off the true beauty of the Swedish winter, which shows a great vastness in Doyen’s work that will provide for further great direction. As well as this the music fits the serenity of the movie perfectly, and boosts Komma from good to… well, better. As for the characters, the two leads are fleshed out splendidly, and surround themselves with an array of interesting people, which leads to the most hilarious scene in a drama I’ve ever seen.

With all of that said, Komma is a little flawed. Some characters are a little too trusting of strangers, making the movie slightly less believable, and the plot is uneven in points, to the point of a drifting ending. In some ways, Komma makes up for its flaws with all of its good points, but in others, like its strangely obtuse ending, it makes no excuses for itself and stays flawed. Still, it is a fairly good movie.

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Komma rattles along in an enjoyable, if slightly frustrating, way. It is a movie that’s captivating, fruitful and interesting, yet it still manages to muck up slightly and pull itself down. To sum up, Komma is a good movie, which could be slightly better if only the ending was more pulled-together. So it’s not so bad after all.


3 out of 5