The Swedish crew of Crazy Pictures released The Unthinkable (AKA Den blomstertid nu koomer) in 2018 which follows a tragic story of a boy dealing with an abusive father, being in love, and trying to survive a mysterious attack on his country. The lead actor, Christoffer Nordenrot, who portrays Alex, also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Victor Danell of Crazy Pictures. Since its release, this mystery/war film has bulldozed its way through numerous film festivals, receiving several award nominations and wins. Not to mention, it was featured at the 2019 Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF) and I had the pleasure of reviewing it.
The movie introduces its main characters quickly. Alex (Nordenrot) is a timid teenage boy coping with an overly aggressive, abusive father named Björn (Jesper Barksellius) and an emotionally drained mother named Eva (Pia Halvorsen). His love interest, Anna (Lisa Henni), shares a passion for music with Alex, building a connection between them while playing the piano. Tired of the never-ending fighting, Alex’s mom leaves the home, triggering his dad into bigger fits of rage.
An elegant time lapse reveals Alex’s astounding musical talent has created stardom for him. The story is slowly budding, giving small glimpses of the chaos about to come. A call gives Alex the news that his mother has passed away, which brings him back to his hometown. He is reunited with Anna, and they spend the evening together, during which hints of a Russian attack surface as multiple explosions are reported. Meanwhile, the audience is following an older Björn, who seems to have his conspiracy theories strategically lined up. He knows there’s more than what’s being shared on the news, and he prepares.
This is where the story starts to unravel. Despite Alex and Anna having a wonderful night together – she admits to him that she has a family, her husband is in the military, and her mother obtained a job of high ranking in the government. Upset with this hard truth, he leaves. While he’s driving, he sees one of many car crashes play out. Without reason, it seems like people are losing their marbles and even they don’t understand why.
Since love always prevails, Alex returns to Anna’s home, trying to explain what’s going on. Anna has already gotten a message from her mother about the information she received during a government meeting. Panic, epic car crashes, survivalist tactics, fights, helicopter chases and explosions ensue. It sounds like a lot, and trust me, it is. However, the way the movie was filmed and edited makes it seem not as bad as you might think it is.
Director Victor Danell shot the film in a way that captured its movement, emotions, and strong cinematography beautifully. The backdrop of the Swedish countryside offered great elements to the foundation of the movie. I discovered that The Unthinkable was made with a $2 million budget, which is impressive for the scale it all. Scenes oozed the blood, sweat, and tears I can only imagine the production team invested in while filming. One scene played out seamlessly and increased the element of creepy shock. A 5-6 car crash on an large scale bridge that made my heart pump as I sat on the edge of my seat.
There were many moments of, “What’s going to happen?” that highlighted the many characters. The actors in this movie really drew me in. They rendered exquisite performances that had me trading places with them in most scenes. There was plenty of personifying going on with more than one character, which, for me, doesn’t happen often. Although lengthy and drawn out, the screenplay set up believable and relatable people whose past and present are things I’m sure most of us have experienced. The emotions that flood the film are pleasant and wrapped up the entire film together.
The Unthinkable is a movie that left me thinking about the kind of mayhem that happened during the film. Without spoiling any more, I would say it was an unusual way to put its character’s under attack. It felt personal and mournful when imagining those events possibly happening. Although The Unthinkable has so much going on, I still enjoyed watching it and would recommend checking it out… unless you totally hate subtitles. Then I would suggest you pass or check it out on DVD for possible English settings.