Director: Filip Tegstedt
Screenplay: Filip Tegstedt
Cast: Thomas Hedengran, Peter Stormare, Tintin Anderzon, Sandra Larsson, Dylan M. Johansson, Viktoria Sätter
Producers: Alexandra Malmqvist, Filip Tegstedt
Print Source: Jämtfilm, AMT Production
2011 | 11 min
The life of Krister has become an unending nightmare, ever since his wife’s death. There seems to be no respite for this man, tormented by the errors of his past and held prisoner by a grim daily existence. Not only must he raise his newborn child alone, he must also contend with the mood swings of his older daughter Sandra, a rebellious youth harbouring deep animosity towards her father, blaming him for all the ills that have befallen the family. Faced with such difficult circumstances, Krister is slowly losing his grip on himself, which threatens the teaching career he exhibits a waning interest in. The mental health of this damaged man is deteriorating and those around him have reason to be concerned. Especially because, for some time now, Krister has been plagued by night terrors, his fitful slumber intruded upon by a mysterious woman with dark designs on him. He initially believes these visions are a symptom of serious post-traumatic shock. Krister does, after all, have a number of skeletons in his closet that gnaw at his conscience. It gradually becomes evident that this nocturnal visitor may be supernatural. Whether or not anyone believes it, he knows that a creature from folklore has placed a curse on him. And now, true calamity will descend on Krister and those close to him.
Every once in a while, when we’ve convinced ourselves that nothing new can be wrung out of this or that overused genre, a filmmaker shows up with a truly original perspective, a work that invites a rediscovery of the familiar premise. MARIANNE, the debut feature film from Sweden’s Filip Tegstedt, is one of those films. Resembling Kiyoshi Kurosawa, he braids together a poignant human drama with a fantastic tale drawn from local folklore, a gamble that pays off with great success. The fluidity of the interplay between the film’s two dimensions is stunning, palpably evoking both the grief of the bereaved and the primal fear of phantoms. Written with flair, MARIANNE constantly alternates between different places in time, painting a psychological portrait of a man at the edge of despair, living a tragedy that may or may not be slipping into the paranormal. For all the drama and dread, the cynical humour that’s so typically Swedish is present as well, often surfacing when least expected! Benefiting from a very effective cast, notably Thomas Hedengran in the role of Krister, MARIANNE is an unusually potent piece of work. As poignant as it is petrifying, it’s one of the great discoveries in genre cinema this year.