Excellent acting by everyone
Mark Mussari | Old Pueblo | 02/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MIFUNE (Mifunes sidste sang) is a fine example of the focus which the DOGMA approach brings to acting in a film. Anders Berthelsen holds the film together with his endearing performance as the Copenhagen yuppie who must face his "discarded" past to redefine his personal values. Berthelsen is a familiar face to Danish moviegoers and has a truly "natural" quality that serves the DOGMA director (in this case Søren Kragh-Jacobsen) quite well. Iben Hjejle (also of HIGH FIDELITY)shines on screen as Liva, a still-reforming prostitute whose path leads her to Berthelsen and his mentally challenged brother Rud (played with incredible heart and verve by Jesper Asholt). The trio of central actors meets every DOGMA challenge facing it (including those acted-straight-through scenes) with the kind of energy sadly lacking in most high-budget American films. More importantly the film has something to say about how people treat each other (brought to a head in a speech by Hjejle to her snotty teenage brother Bjarke). There is one ludicrous slip in judgment involving Hjejle's prostitute friends and some inane "revenge" on Berthelsen. Otherwise, this is an excellent that film should have been nominated for an Academy Award."
The Lighter Side of Dogma
Kathy Fennessy | 01/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the fact that it adheres to the strict aesthetic tenets of Dogma 95, Mifune is about as accessible as a romantic comedy named after a Japanese actor can get. Although Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's film, like the Dogma releases that preceded it (Breaking the Waves and The Celebration) eschews special effects, incidental music, etc., Mifune isn't nearly as dark.Kresten (Anders W. Berthelsen) is an ambitious businessman who has successfully concealed his rural past until it catches up with him upon the death of his father. He leaves his new wife (who just happens to be his boss' daughter) after the honeymoon, telling her he'll be back soon, but sparing her as many details as possible. And so he returns to the ancestral farm, hoping to tie up a few loose ends and then return to his comfortably bourgeois existence in the city. But the situation at home turns out to be far worse than he thought, particularly in regards to his mentally challenged brother, Rud (Jasper Asholt), who simply will not leave the house.Then there's Liva (Iben Hjejle from High Fidelity), an attractive woman who, ironically enough, has just moved to the country in order to escape her not-so-comfortable life in the city. She is soon joined by her rambunctious little brother...and fellow call girls.Throughout the chaos, it is Rud who shares Kresten's love of the great Akira Kurosawa's samurai epics starring the gruff and grumbly Toshiro Mifune (thus providing the film with some of its most most amusing moments) and serving to remind Kresten what was good about his past and why it just may be worth holding on to after all."
Kathy Fennessy | 06/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MIFUNE is a Danish film and is the third release from DOGME. DOGME is a group of filmmakers that include Lars Von Trier(BREAKING THE WAVES) and Thomas Vinterberg(FESTEN-CELEBRATION). They have banded together in the hopes of changing the way films are made. Simplifying the production techniques and solving problems creatively as opposed to financially. I think you'll enjoy this film if your more patient than the average moviegoer. If you are a fan of foreign films and you are comfortable with long pauses of silence it's highly recommended. The landscape of the country looks stunning and the acting is first rate."
Love, Dogme Style
Christopher L Beckwith | 02/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been consistently impressed with the Dogme films and Mifune, the most recent addition, was no exception. And as a romantic comedy, albeit darkly-tinged, Mifune is a unique presence in the dogme repetoire. While it has hard-hitting moments, it also has an off-beat humor that is generously warm and charming. The growing affection I felt for the motley collection of characters gently crept up on me, and I settled into this film like an easy chair. Be assured, this is skilled filmmaking, with an eye for character development and stong storytelling. Hollywood would love to make a romantic comedy this good, but rarely hits the mark. (I wouldn't be surprised if a studio optioned this for an American remake.) Most surprising: Mifune is also one of the best-looking of the dogme films. The technical production values seemed uniformly strong and images appeared well-lit, even the night sequences. Overall, the film had a crisp look. Had I not known this was a dogme film, I'd of never guessed. Makes one wonder if the new, light-adaptive camera technologies and improved film stocks may render an aesthetic like dogme's moot."