You have a nice life. You are a photographer (albeit of dead people at crime scenes), you have a wife and two kids and a brand new apartment. What else could you possibly want? This is the life of Jonas, living a comfortable, if somewhat boring, life in the suburbs. Comfortable until the car your wife insists on replacing stalls and inadvertently causes an accident that leaves a young woman, Julia, blind and with amnesia. For some reason Jonas becomes obsessed with Julia and starts coming to her hospital room, where he meets her family and agrees that he is Sebastian, her boyfriend that she met while abroad and whom she thinks is her soul-mate. But, where is the real Sebastian?And what will happen if Julia ever regains her sight or memory?

This movie is like a wonderful Norwegian film-noir. The lighting and sound mix are stunning and really add to the suspense of the film and the ending is both expected and un-expected, something that is rare in movies these days. The start of the film lays out the basic storylines that merge together in the end. The first ‘Love Story’ shows a man lying in the falling rain as a pool of blood spills from beneath him. A voiceover is of the man lying on the sidewalk telling how soon people will arrive and outline his body. The woman is the wife. And he doesn’t know where he is going, but his back is to the planet.

The second ‘Love Story’ is the story of Jonas and Mette, a suburban couple living in a new apartment full of new stuff and the slight argument over the car that continues to break down. It also shows their relationship and sex life as a married couple.

The third ‘Love Story’ is a tad more dramatic as we find a man sitting in a room sweating profusely while horns honk in the background. Slowly, the camera pans out as a gun is introduced to the side of his head and a woman is holding the weapon shakily in her grasp. The man starts to say he is afraid and not to pull the trigger and then moves the gun so that he can see her shoot him.

Thus, the movie begins. Jonas goes to work as a crime scene photographer. A job he doesn’t entirely like, but at least it’s work as a photographer. He introduces his friends/co-workers.

Julia is in her car, remembering her last moments before returning home. She lived a dramatic, over-the-top, existence and is the daughter of some rich people. She had gone abroad to get away and met a man, Sebastian, that stole her heart. As far as we know, there is a good reason why she appears to have shot him. She’s in the car and is remembering what happened before she left Hanoi, which appears to be Sebastian tying her up. All the scenes of Julia in Hanoi are brilliantly colored with greens and blues and are super-saturated. The editing in this movie is especially wonderful, and this scene really highlights how the movie is edited together. Julia is back in her car and drops her phone as she clearly sees something in front of her. This entire scene has this wonderful high-speed capture of her flinging around the screen in the car while glass floats around before speeding back up to normal speed, a great use of time-remapping.

The next scene finds Jonas trying to start his car before he and his family go to the store. After finally starting the car and getting on their way, the car breaks down in the middle of the road where Julia is seen coming from behind, realizing she isn’t paying attention, and swerving into on-coming traffic to avoid the car stalled in front of her. She swipes off their side mirror and then hits a van head on causing an incredible crash which leaves the van driver dead and her sitting in the middle of the street, sightless and with no memories.

This is where I leave the review, and hope you watch the remainder of the film. It is fantastically written and shot and the way sound is used wonderfully highlights the suspense of the film. I’ve read some reviews that say that this movie is like ‘While You Were Sleeping’. I do not get this comparison. One is a romantic comedy where the guy Sandra Bullock is in love with gets into a coma and she pretends to be his fiance. This movie is about a woman who shot her supposed wonderful boyfriend and gets into an accident thereby losing her vision and memory. It’s also about a man who lives a hum-drum, normal life and encounters this woman and pretends to be something he isn’t. If that is the basis, ok. But, everything else is completely different. This movie is very suspenseful and dark and doesn’t really have a happy ending, while the other is a romantic comedy. Just watch them and judge on your own.

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