Directed by: Gabriel Bier Gislason
Distributed by: Shudder
Written by Alexander Reams
There’s something about Danish cinema, its idiosyncrasies between characters are more pronounced though unaddressed, the camera moves as if it is in the room with our characters, it’s as if something is always off. I usually go to Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” when I think about Danish cinema, a prime example, and also an exemplary film that showcases Mads Mikkelsen as more than Hannibal and that guy from that big-budget franchise movie, as most know him. I have long been a fan of Danish cinema and was the main reason for my viewing of Gabriel Bier Gislason’s film “Attachment”. From the beginning, those idiosyncrasies were there, and they worked as I have seen them work before. The beginning, which is mostly the opening credits, is in what looks to be a bookstore, but there is this surrealistic aspect to the shop, the books seem to be too perfect like they’re fake. Maybe that was intentional, I’m not sure, but it definitely put me at unease.
Quickly after that, we see Maja (Sofie Gråbøl) who is clearly not pleased to be stuck in the bookstore, she soon meets Leah (Ellie Kendrick), and a romance quickly forms, soon enough they are living together, and that’s when the problems begin. Not only for our leads but also for the film. Once the supernatural aspects and religious aspects come in Gislason seems to lose control over his film, and things become sloppy. The edits are more and more jarring, the music is unnecessarily intrusive, and the blocking goes from meticulous to juvenile, almost in one transition. Despite the major technical issues, Gråbøl and Kendrick still turn in really solid performances and manage to continually elevate the script, Gislason also manages to provide some legit scares and keeps a creepy vibe throughout the film, I did think that the religious aspects of the film were not handled with as much respect and care as they should have been, and were frequently not given the reverence that comes with bringing that into your movie. While this wasn’t a huge detraction, I was just left wondering why it was there, and what was the purpose. Because in the end, it didn’t serve the narrative as much as the movie thinks it did.
“Attachment” was screened as part of the 2022 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival.
You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.