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Movie Review: Monster Thursday

I love a good foreign film. Unfortunately, this one is a fail. Coming out of Norway, we have "Monster Thursday", a film about a man, Even, whose best friend, Tord, marries the woman he loves, Karen. She's also heavily pregnant. Tord has to go to Singapore for two weeks and asks his buddy to look after his wife while he's away. Yes, he is fully aware that his friend is in love with his wife, and she knows it, too. Apparently no one takes this seriously. So Even decides he needs to learn how to surf in order to impress her, I guess because Tord is "flawless" and is himself a surfer.

Next we have Even learning how to surf for the first time. It's mildly interesting stuff. He learns from a retired pro while hanging out with his other friend. It's all predictable, however. I know I use that word a lot, but I find that so many movies curse themselves with predictability and blandness.

The romance aspect is a fail. There are three reasons for this: (1) there isn't enough time or energy dedicated to making the viewer interested, (2) there is a significant lack of chemistry between the two actors, and (3) the actress who plays Karen displays the personality of a dead woman. I mean really, she has little to offer in that department, and Karen is annoying. She never tells Even what is wrong even though things obviously are wrong, and then she walks away. She's rather selfish. At one point she thinks that Tord has abandoned her since it appears that he has no intention of coming home. Even hears from someone else that Tord is in Bali, since it's close to Singapore. It's never made clear what Tord was up to, if anything, and no one ever says. Anyway, Karen is so upset because she thinks her marriage is over that she takes comfort in Even, using him. She doesn't want to be alone, as we well know. But then that comes to nothing, and Even is hurt.

The ending is worse. It was, in fact, quite dumb. It's one of those endings that tries to emotionally manipulate the viewers. Instead, what we have is a moot film. Even's learned skill of surfing is rendered meaningless, and his love for Karen is, too. But I didn't care enough about the characters to truly even care about the ending.

So, in the end, "Monster Thursday" fails to be romantic, touching, and is only vaguely interesting. I will say this, though; it had much more humor in it than I was expecting. It wasn't laugh-out-loud-funny, but it was chuckle worthy at times. I thought it was going to be depressing and serious all the way through, but it had its lighter moments.

I should note that this is a Film Movement selection, a movie club that brings out artsy foreign films and short films. They have interesting picks, and I've watched a few over the years, like XXY, The Country Teacher, The Grocer's Son, and Ben X.

Too bad this one wasn't very good.

My grade: C


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