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also known as DeUsynlige

Troubled Water2008

  • 3.9
Jan, recently released from prison after serving time for the murder of a child, has always maintained his innocence and is ready to put the past behind him. A gifted organist, he takes a job at an Oslo church under his middle name, Thomas. His talent and gentle manner quickly earn him the respect of his superiors, as well as the love of the pastor, Anna. Thomas even overcomes his initial panic to return the affection of Anna's young son, Jens. But his past catches up with him when Agnes, a local teacher, comes to the church on a school visit and recognizes the organist as Jan, the young man who was convicted for the murder of her son.

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1 member likes this review

Erik Poppe's Troubled Water (2008) is a real masterpiece of Cinematic Art. In fact, it's one of the very best films that I've ever viewed.

The cinematography, the editing, and the lighting in this film combined not only to make this film very visually beautiful, but very dramatic, and even thought provoking in some ways too.

There are some very unusual elements in the story concept of this film, and in the structure of the main characters, and this filmmaker was able to manipulate and to mold all these unusual and even unlikely elements into a very interesting, provocative, and compelling story. The one situation that stands out for me is that a male character who is an ex-convict, begins a romantic relationship with a female priest. Superficially, such a combination would seem like the "odd couple" from outer space. Yet, Poppe was able to transform this unlikely pairing into a sensitive, tender, and quite believable love story.

One aspect of this film that is very unique is that a long segment of the storyline in related from the emotional perspective, even from the camera position of one character, and then events from that original storyline are again replayed, but now from the emotional perspective, and even from the camera position of a second character, with the second character secretly observing the first character without his knowledge of it at all. This retelling of the same extended segment of the storyline from the different perspectives, and different camera positions of two characters is very thought provoking, and very enlightening about "what is really going on here?" in the storyline as a whole. The only other time that I've viewed a film that used the retelling of the same part of the story from the differing perspectives, and camera positions of two different characters was in Persona (1966), and then Bergman only sustained this cinematic duplicity for one short, but critical scene.

There are as many "meanings" to this very complex film, as there are characters in the film, each with his own emotional perspective on the main issues addressed by the storyline. In that respect, this filmmaker subtly reveals the relativity of the "truth", of the "meaning" in all our lives.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (5)

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top reviewer

Erik Poppe's film creates a potent narrative, but the ideas of faith, guilt and accountability are left somewhat under explored. The interest of this film comes from the shared horror of a death, but the real power it creates is thanks to the interesting acting turn by Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen.

1 member likes this review
191242.small
top reviewer

Erik Poppe's Troubled Water (2008) is a real masterpiece of Cinematic Art. In fact, it's one of the very best films that I've ever viewed.

The cinematography, the editing, and the lighting in this film combined not only to make this film very visually beautiful, but very dramatic, and even thought provoking in some ways too.

There are some very unusual elements in the story concept of this film, and in the structure of the main characters, and this filmmaker was able to manipulate and to mold all these unusual and even unlikely elements into a very interesting, provocative, and compelling story. The one situation that stands out for me is that a male character who is an ex-convict, begins a romantic relationship with a female priest. Superficially, such a combination would seem like the "odd couple" from outer space. Yet, Poppe was able to transform this unlikely pairing into a sensitive, tender, and quite believable love story.

One aspect of this film that is very unique is that a long segment of the storyline in related from the emotional perspective, even from the camera position of one character, and then events from that original storyline are again replayed, but now from the emotional perspective, and even from the camera position of a second character, with the second character secretly observing the first character without his knowledge of it at all. This retelling of the same extended segment of the storyline from the different perspectives, and different camera positions of two characters is very thought provoking, and very enlightening about "what is really going on here?" in the storyline as a whole. The only other time that I've viewed a film that used the retelling of the same part of the story from the differing perspectives, and camera positions of two different characters was in Persona (1966), and then Bergman only sustained this cinematic duplicity for one short, but critical scene.

There are as many "meanings" to this very complex film, as there are characters in the film, each with his own emotional perspective on the main issues addressed by the storyline. In that respect, this filmmaker subtly reveals the relativity of the "truth", of the "meaning" in all our lives.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

A well written examination of guilt and loss as seen from the different perspectives of the affected characters. Fine acting and cinematography sustain the action throughout. It became a little predictable and improbable for me toward the end but still a sterling effort from all involved and well worth seeing.

a good film, but not getting masterpiece. does it rank with fanny and alexander, wages of fear, the seven samurai, the marriage of maria braun, cocteau's orpheus?

somewhere in the middle it became really predictable.

Hated the ending. Terrific movie up to that point.