Dark Horse

Dark Horse


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

Dark Horse is a comedy/drama about a charming, irresponsible graffiti artist, called Daniel, who lives in Copenhagen and paints declarations of love on demand for anyone willing to pay.

His financial contribution to the economy over the last few years has been four dollars and he is constantly on the run from parking tickets, overdue rent and the police. Yet, he manages to live a carefree life, hanging out with Grandpa, his best mate, until he meets and falls in love with the equally irresponsible and charming Franc.

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This sweet comedy is filled with oddball characters, none more so than Grandpa, who is obsessed with becoming a football referee. He can be seen in his uniform wherever he goes and uses a red and yellow card system to punish those whose actions he disapproves of. Both are introduced to Franc when they stumble into a bakery one day only to find her high as a kite, stoned on magic mushrooms. Daniel is immediately drawn to her and she becomes a huge part of his slacker universe, much to the annoyance of Grandpa, who has a crush on her, too.

Daniel is on a personal odyssey to try to avoid responsibility at all costs, but upon meeting Franc, his life takes a dramatic turn that changes things forever. The cinematography is strangely hypnotic and the pace so relaxed you could almost be floating through this movie. The story has touching moments and enough neat twists to keep proceedings ticking over. For a script that doesn't seem to have many places to go, it creates an ambience of charm.

Shooting on a shoestring, using black-and-white photography, is one of the strengths, not just visually, but also from a storytelling point of view, keeping the locations fresh and not too over familiar, especially as Daniel searches for a focus in life, before coming to terms with his commitment to Franc.

Certainly a film for art house audiences, but also a nice first time introduction to Danish cinema that is bold and confident. Dark Horse asks you to come inside and take a look at something very personal, but deeply different.

Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2005
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When a graffiti artist in Copenhagen meets a girl on magic mushrooms, his slacker days are numbered.
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Director: Dagur Kari

Writer: Dagur Kari, Rune Schjøtt

Starring: Jakob Cedergren, Nicolas Bro, Tilly Scott Pedersen

Year: 2005

Runtime: 106 minutes

Country: Denmark/Iceland


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