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Reconstruction

Reviewed By Scott Weinberg
Posted 04/08/04 00:57:38

"Fractured, strange, periodically confusing, ultimately fascinating."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Life moves on a dime. One small decision can lead to a path of blissful happiness..or years of miserable loneliness. Christoffer Boe's hypnotically interesting and narratively fractured 'Reconstruction' tells the tale of one callous young man, his fickle heart, and the various repercussions that occur when obsession rears its dangerous head.

Essentially we have just four characters: aging writer August, his lovely young wife Aimee, her newfound lover Alex, and his overlooked girlfriend Simone. Following one particularly unkind dismissal of Simone's affections, Alex chases Aimee down and begins to woo her. The pair share a night together, but the next morning finds Alex's world a bit...different.

His flat is gone, his friends do not seem to remember him, and even Aimee seems unsure of who Alex is when they meet for the second time. Even when Alex is able to reforge the connection, he finds his life repeatedly 'reconstructed' and he has to start from scratch all over again.

Is the tale of Alex & Aimee merely a construct of August's latest book, or is something truly bizarre going on here?

Don't expect a whole lot of clear-cut answers, as Reconstruction is as vague and periodically abstract as only the finest Art Films can be. Once the viewer accepts that they're not about to experience a 'traditional narrative' - Reconstruction starts to appeal as more of an Artistic Challenge and less of an A-B-C cinematic romance.

Winner of the Best First Feature Prize at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Reconstruction is a heady rumination on the power of lust, the brutality of romantic dismissal and the pitfalls inherent in Love at First Sight. In any case, it's certainly not any sort of simplistic little Romantic Drama intent on churning out the same old concepts encased in the same tired framework. And obviously that's a good thing.

'Reconstruction' is tough to adore, but easy to admire. It's maddeningly convoluted, consistently challenging and fascinating to contemplate. - Not recommended for those who have trouble following the typical multiplex fare.

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