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Copenhagen flips the familiar story of an older man utterly changing a young woman’s life by having her change his.
Trigger Warning(s): Pedophilia
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
With his father dead, and not much mention of his mother, it seems William (Gethin Anthony) doesn’t have much left. I mean, he has his best friend Jeremy (Sebastian Armesto), but their relationship is rough, and with Jennifer (Olivia Grant) causing a rift between the two men, it makes Jeremy coming to Copenhagen almost a waste of time. Luckily, though, a 14-year-old girl named Effy (Frederikke Dahl Hansen) seems more than willing to step in and help Jeremy with his search for his grandfather. Question is, though, will finding the man who abandoned his father bring the closure he seeks?
The beauty of this movie is that even without the use of tears or over the top performances, you still get to see a sort of vulnerability and are given reason to fall for these characters. To begin with Effy, this child basically has you wrapped around her little finger and it is hard to not enjoy Hansen play her with this sense of curiosity, naivety, and watch her play the lead of William’s journey. For with William being an American, who knows little to no Danish, he is reliant on her. And through her youthful rebellion, which leads to them entering people’s homes, and her often pushing him to keep going, we see a nice flip to a familiar story.
Which isn’t to say he doesn’t help her grow and learn more about herself too. For while William gets the majority of the focus, through her crush on him we begin to see her learn about love in a way. The type of love you don’t see often in terms of trying to better the person, help them understand themselves, and not necessarily asking for much in return.
The hardest thing to deal with in this film is that this guy in his late 20s is kissing a 14-year-old and kisses other girls who look like they could also be Effy’s age. It creates a creepy tone to the film which taints a lot of the praise since he talks about falling in love with her, he kisses her, grabs at her thighs, and while he doesn’t have sex with her, the amount of intimacy between them goes beyond being platonic. Outside of that, I have to admit that the Jeremy situation feels a little underdeveloped for while we know they have been friends for decades, so it seems, it would have been nice if more information about their relationship was given. Especially since Jeremy paints William as a serious screw-up.
Overall: TV Viewing
While a grown man falling for a 14-year-old, and others who look like juveniles, is certainly disturbing, the main issue with this film is that while William is in pursuit of learning his grandfather’s whereabouts, you don’t feel like you fully get to know William, nor Effy. You can make assumptions based off things said to or about them, and their own actions, but when it comes to really getting to know these two likable and intriguing characters, you are left with a lot of questions. Hence the TV Viewing label since more time is dedicated to William’s twisted sexual appetite than us learning how this possible man-child pushed himself to Copenhagen, much less why this young girl found herself tickled by the idea of escorting a foreigner around town. Besides the idea of romance.