That Larsens are a picture perfect family. Father Markus, mother Christina and their almost 12 year old daughter Elizabeth. They have a perfect house and a summer house (a little gazebo in the woods). But right from the beginning we see that there is something brewing in the foundation of this family.. We don’t see any direct ambushes but clearly its a dysfunctional family. A close friend of Markus is in deep financial trouble and Markus offers to help him with some money, but her may need more. Very casually , the friend mentions his boy Johannes to be nice to Elizabeth. When Markus meets the 12-year old boy at his home playing with Elizabeth, he feels affection for him. By this time we have realised that Markus is bisexual and has flings with men on the side. Markus begins to approach Johannes and creates an intimacy of which he increasingly loses control. This includes the two of spending time with each other on weekends but doing nothing intimate except setting with their t-shirts off. So while both the wife and daughter are still very affected and stirred by Markus’ complete disinterest in their life, Johannes, as it turns out , has a plan of his own. He shows one day to Markus’ home and demands 150k euros other wise he will tell people that Markus has been assaulting a young boy. Shocked by the turn o events , he leaves him to go to the bank while Johannes stays home with mom and the daughter. The ending is left vague with Elizabeth walking towards Johannes with a knife ready to attack him.
As mentioned about, it is not easy film to watch but the good story on paper did not turn out very good on screen. There are so many scenes that fee unnecessarily stretched. IT feels that it could’ve been a made for TV film and reduced the duration by at least 30 minutes. Th film starts off well but begins to get weird and disappointing soon and it never recovers from it. The whole point of Markus’ friend and his girlfriend making out after dinner and engaging in sex which Christine joins but ends up showing Markus having sex with his wife without completion didn’t make any sense. It had nothing relevant to the story. Also the mother-daughter bond was quite strange. She seemed all a bit of freak to me, which Elizabeth mentions to her father as well. The other weird aspect is of the whole suicide showdown by Christine. I mean if as a couple they are clearly unhappy, then just move on for Christ’s sake. Then the whole closeness of Markus with Johannes. What was Markus’ intention. A healthy flirty relationship with a young man who could easily be his son or was it just a way to escape his family life.
The film is a bit too confusing and too jumbled to follow for my tastes. And added to it, the relatively slow pace of the film doesn’t really help. (4/10)