You Really Got Me

You Really Got Me


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

The publicity for this movie draws parallels with Fargo and Blood Simple. Although such comparisons are inevitable, the film has enough of it's own energy to stamp out any similarities.

Jan (Robert Skjærstad) is a loser. I mean, a big time loser. He is so weedy and nerdy and in desperate need of a few hours down at the gym that you just want to slap him around a few times. His girlfriend has left him, his fast food bar is going under and his dad pushes him around in his own house. Things are so bad that he walks out into the forest to hang himself. And he can't even do that properly.

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Whilst out there, he hears the faint scream of a man shouting for help. He comes across him in an old shed and it turns out to be Norwegian rock star, Iver Mo (Philip Zandén), who has been kidnapped and held for ransom. Jan re-kidnaps him and holds him hostage in a weak bid to save his greasy spoon and maybe impress his girlfriend.

The real kidnappers, of course, are in this for money and revenge. Iver has forever been beastly to his drummer Bent (Trond Høvik), taunting him about being a hanger-on and even screwing his girlfriend. Bent is sick of it and in league with the hired thugs who originally kidnapped him. Just like William H Macy in Fargo.

Several plot complications later (some contrived, some amusing) lead to Jan finally trying his hardest to make things work for him - just once. I hated him at the start, but, in the end, being the good guy is best. Which is where comparisons to Fargo bend.

In that movie, Frances McDormand tells Peter Stormare that money isn't everything and it's the little things that count. Her husband supports her family by designing new stamps. Although unsubtle, this got the message across plain and simple. At the end of You Really Got Me, Jan loses his ransom money to the real kidnappers and this echoes the Coen brothers' message. Jan changes his life for the better, but not through crime. And Iver Mo gets his punishment (starved, ear bitten, robbed by hobos), so that Bent can have some gratification at least.

If there are people out there who are nervous of going to see subtitled films, this is the perfect introduction. There is as much comedy, pathos and thrills as you are likely to find in any Hollywood movie. Very hard not to enjoy.

Reviewed on: 17 Aug 2001
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A loser gets mixed up in the kidnapping of a rock star.
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Director: Pål Sletaune

Writer: Pål Sletaune, Jonny Halberg

Starring: Robert Skjærstad, Andrine Sæther, Trond Høvik, Philip Zandén, Per Schaaning, Bernhard Ramstad, Bjørn Sundquist

Year: 2001

Runtime: 88 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Norway


EIFF 2001

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