the fresh films reviews

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Uro (2006)

Stefan Faldbakken
104 minutes
Christian Fredrik Martin
Asle Vatn
Harald Rosenløw-Eeg

Cast includes:

Hans Petter Nicolai Cleve Broch ½
Mette Ane Dahl Torp
Marco Ahmed Zeyan ½
Makker Ingar Helge Gimle
Henning Eivind Sander ½
Anders Kim Sørensen
Dansken Nicolas Bro ½
Frank Bjørn Floberg ½
Rodovan Thorsten Flinck
Dealeren Nicholas Hope
Moren Anne Krigsvoll



Picking up the thematic line from its sister film, Uno, we return to the backstreet life in Oslo, as we follow an undercover policeman trying to unveil the main mafioso in a classic urban drug scene, and, more importantly, trying to figure out which side he's on. Written by the skilled Tønsberg writer Harald Rosenløw-Eeg, the film has a clever plot that knows its way through twists and suspense curves belonging to the classic 'cop going undercover'-subgenre. In this technically narrative respect, Uro is a forceful and knowledgeable film. It works well on a surface level.

Unfortunately, one cannot say the same about the film's interpersonal level. Neither the acting, direction or dialogue can make us care very much about these characters in general and HP in particular. Although some of the supporting characters are effective (Bjørn Floberg easily steals every scene he is in, giving a performance reminiscent of Jack Nicholson at his best), the three lead characters become more and more stereotypical as the movie unfolds. Nicolai Cleve Broch is a fine actor at his best, but his psychology here is scattered all over the place and leaves a lot to be desired. The film conceals his background in order to use it as a punchline, but forgets to justify the character's position in the process. By Broch's side, Ane Dahl Torp and Ahmed Zeyan deliver perfectly uninspired and largely incompetent rehashes of arch-typical characters.

Uro works best in segments in which the filmmakers aren't too concerned with progression, thematic relevance or being clever. In scenes where Floberg is given freedom to roam, the film is alive and vibrant, largely because Floberg is the only actor in the film who is able to convey any sort of shift in tone and pace in his character. At the other end of the scale, we have unconvincing and badly directed segments such as the love scene between Cleve Broch and Dahl Torp. I realize it's obligatory, but you know you're in trouble when the leading lady has more sexual tension with the actor playing her father than with her love interest.

Copyright © 14.3.2007 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang