Downhill Review

“Downhill” Review.

It was the best thing available that day. I know it wasn’t Sonic the fucking Hedgehog (which was a bad game on a rubbish system) and consequently had no “nostalgia appeal” for me, and it didn’t have Vin Diesel in it- added to that it didn’t have “reboot” in the title ands not based on an”extended DC universe” or a product of Marvel Studios” – Yes it did have Will Ferrell in it but he had to be bearable at some point in his long career, the trailer looked funny and It did have Julia- Louise-Dreyfus, who I’ve always had a lot of time for. Finally finally, Miranda Otto. I decided to chance it.

I got rather more, (and less) than I’d expected. The thing is “Downhill” both is, (and simultaneously is most definitely NOT) a good film. It is really goddam interesting. Most films start life as books or short stories. Some start as original scripts. Some films simply start as an idea, some films patently start with even less than that “Downhill” on the other hand, is “based on” a film called “Force Majure” made in 2014 I by Ruben Ostlund – and, in seeing “Downhill” one gets the unmistakeable feeling that one is seeing both films at the same time with “downhill” laid over the top of “Force Majure” in a not-transparent enough sheet between the original film and the viewer. Throughout “Downhill” I continually found myself mildly amazed that the characters were all speaking English and that I wasn’t chasing subtitles. The ideas behind the words were European and not American, and to be honest the actors frequently seemed to be out of their depth in this regard, but as far as I could see it seemed to be something like a shot-for-shot copy of the film it was based on, though I will admit to not having seen “Force Majure” (yet). I simply had the feeling that I was seeing a different film the one I was watching, with different actors- just frankly not as good, in exactly the same way that the end of “Star Wars” just isn’t as good as the end of The original “Dam-busters” []

It gets stranger than that though; in “Downhill” there is a line that does not allude to anything – one of the locals says to the wife that it is the local custom to go to the sauna naked, since nudity is not considered “naughty” “OHO” I thought, that is a setup for a gag if ever I have heard one- I spent the rest of the film waiting for it and was surprised by the end credits because it hadn’t eventuated.
Then, lo and behold the joke appears- next day-in the [trailer for”Force Majure]”the father having some sort of a sexual identity crisis in a steamy environment full of boisterous and presumably naked, men – and I am left reflecting that the last credit for “Downhill” was “A Buena Vista Production”

Nice try, but no cigar.

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