Queen of Hearts

2019 [DANISH]


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 8296

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 24, 2021 at 01:02 PM



Gustav Lindh as Gustav
1.09 GB
Danish 2.0
25 fps
2 hr 1 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by danish_mermaid 9 / 10

Brilliant close-up of a narcissist

"Queen of Hearts" brings you front and center to witness firsthand the maneuverings and manipulations of a feral and ferocious female narcissist. You will gasp and cringe in your seat at the lengths to which the main actress, Trine Dyrholm, goes to hide her misdeeds. This is neither the first nor the last film that showcases a full-blooded narcissist, and narcissists are predictable, but it differs by delivering a stunning in-depth insight into the volcanic and corrupted mechanizations of the narcissistic mind. Sooner or later we all meet a certain Queen or King of Hearts. They walk among us looking and acting deceptively normal. Behind the normal façade is a web of cunning lies and deceptive ploys with one goal in mind: to always and forever be the Queen or the King regardless the cost. If you are open minded this film will give you subtle tips on how to avoid or recognize this kind of behavior and make you reflect on whether you have narcissistic traits yourself. Trine Dyrholm plays the part with such fierce conviction that it sends chills down your spine. This she-devil deserves an Oscar for her performance.

Reviewed by Bertaut 8 / 10

An exceptional and painful film that reminds us men aren't the only ones capable of sexual abuse

Examining the destructive power of forbidden desire and how sexual abuse can masquerade as consensual seduction, Dronningen (Queen of Hearts) is a film wherein our protagonist becomes our antagonist, where our emotional centre shifts multiple times, where our own morality is examined, where our sympathies are used against us. A psychologically fascinating and morally complex film, in the age of MeToo, Dronningen dares to remind us that women can be the perpetrators of abuse just as men can be its victims.

Anne (Trine Dyrholm) and her husband Peter (Magnus Krepper) are an affluent middle-class couple living with their two young daughters on the edge of a forest just outside Copenhagen. She's a partner at a law firm specialising in defending victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, whilst he's a top surgeon. Their life is uneventful but happy. Things change, however, when Gustav (Gustav Lindh), Peter's recalcitrant teenage son from his first marriage, arrives to stay with them, having been expelled from his Swedish school. Although initially, Anne is far from enthused about his sullen presence, over time, he awakens something in her, and she seduces him, with the duo subsequently embarking on a dangerous affair.

Written by May el-Toukhy and Maren Louise Käehne and directed by el-Toukhy, much of Dronningen's strength lies in how the audience is initially encouraged to empathise with Anne before having the rug pulled out from under us and our own morality called into question - how could we ever have identified with this woman? It's easy enough when you consider that she's the emotional centre of the film for the first two acts and she's introduced as brave, driven, and confident, someone who's appalled not only at the abuse her clients have suffered, but so too at a system which could potentially find them to be in the wrong. Once the affair begins, although the audience is shocked at what Anne is doing, el-Toukhy depicts things in such a way that we revel in the sense of erotic freedom, savouring Anne's sexual awakening almost as much as she does herself (the first time we see her smile is during a scene where Gustav coaxes her to join him and her daughters in a lake). It's not until she's faced with the possibility of the affair being revealed that we see who Anne truly is - a heartless and cruel exploiter, incapable of seeing that she is perpetrating a similar kind of abuse as that suffered by her clients.

Another important element is the gender paradigm. As mentioned, we're initially encouraged to empathise with Anne and approve of what she's doing. After all, she's a hardworking, decent woman whose marriage has lost its spark, so who could deny her a little bit of illicit fun? But would we think the same were the genders reversed - how would we react to the story of a fortysomething man seducing a 19-year-old girl? With this in mind, el-Toukhy interrogates our morality, by 'tricking' us into condoning Anne's actions and later asking how we could ever have done so - gender, she suggests, is irrelevant in cases of abuse, and the fact that we give a woman a pass to behave in this manner when we would crucify a man for doing the same thing is part of the film's complex thematic texture.

In terms of acting, this is some of Dyrholm's best work (which is saying a lot considering her extraordinary CV). Initially playing Anne as strong-willed and inherently decent, once Gustav arrives on the scene, Dyrholm loosens up, carrying herself differently, and displaying a different kind of confidence than we've seen thus far - a more personalised confidence, one that has to do with her sense of self rather than her professionalism. Later, when she faces the possibility that Peter could learn of the affair and that her comfortable middle-class life could be jeopardised, she shuts herself down, becoming void of emotion and interiority, as she transitions from protagonist to antagonist. Throughout all this, Dyrholm never lets us forget that Anne is very much a flawed human, but so too does she wholly commit to playing Anne's darker qualities; when the wheel turns, Dyrholm makes sure that we come to despise Anne.

Working opposite such a powerhouse performer can't have been easy for the 25-year-old Lindh, who's only been acting professionally since 2015, but he holds his own admirably. And much as Dyrholm creates a fascinating arc for Anne, so too with Lindh, who plays Gustav with an exceptional visceral quality, his emotions always on the surface. His arc is essentially the inverse of Anne's - whereas she's introduced as the protagonist, someone with whom we're encouraged to identify, yet she later becomes a monster, he's introduced as an unlikable, petulant, and moody brat, yet he evolves to the point where he becomes the emotional fulcrum of the final act. As Peter, Krepper has a lot less to do than his co-stars, but he does it well, never putting a foot wrong. He plays Peter as decent and loving, but not especially warm or attentive. Sex between him and Anne is a rarity, and even when they do have sex, it's vanilla and rote. However, these are his most significant crimes; if Anne and Gustav represent the emotional centre of the film at different points, Peter is the moral centre throughout.

Looking at issues of gender inequality in relation to sexual trauma and abuse, Dronningen is a story of how a woman can be a predator just as easily as a man. Indeed, the film reminds us that gender is irrelevant when considering the pain caused by such predation. Ultimately, Gustav is no different from the clients who Anne represents, but whereas she is shown to be remarkably protective of them, when Anne finds herself in the role of the perpetrator, her treatment of Gustav is as reprehensible as anything done to her female clients by their male abusers. This is tricky and emotionally complex territory, and Dronningen is never anything less than thematically fascinating. It's by no means an easy watch, but it is an exceptional piece of filmmaking.

Reviewed by arianaghafouri 10 / 10

Incredible performance and storyline

You immediately get sucked into their world, and feel a part of the family and situation. It's truly an experience in its own right to watch this movie, because you feel the feelings of the characters and at times feel equally confused and frustrated. It's an emotional rollercoaster that you feel apart of.

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