Director: Ruben Östlund
Writer: Ruben Östlund
Cast: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren, Clara Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius, Karin Myrenberg, Brady Corbet
Part of: Viennale
Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) and Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) wanted to enjoy their skiing holiday with their kids (Vincent Wettergren, Clara Wettergren), maybe even grow a little closer again with the time spent together since Tomas is working too much. But then a controlled seemingly goes out of control. Ebba turns to Tomas to help protect their children, but Tomas has already grabbed his cell phone and is running for his life. A few minutes later they are all full of snow, but unharmed – at least physically. But Tomas’ reaction was a blow to the entire family structure.
Turist has a good set-up and a very good cast but other than that I couldn’t really get into it. Probably because it’s yet another film about what it means to be a man in today’s world and I am ever so tired of these films.
I’m not saying that it isn’t a pressing issue for men nowadays to figure out where they can figure into a world that keeps questioning old-time-y masculinity (though not as much as that anyway – it is not much of an issue if you’re an old-time-y man after all), but hasn’t provided them yet with a new model to aspire to. But I can’t help but feel that it’s like the colonialist having an existential crisis after his colony gaining independence. [Because what will he be now, apart from a rich, white, well-connected man?] I’d much rather hear the stories about the freshly independent people, who have to find out how to navigate the world now just as much.
But that’s not what Turist is about. It’s all about Tomas and his friend Mats (Kristofer Hivju) who is also skiing there. It’s not about how Ebba is supposed to trust Tomas again, it is about how he is depressed because he behaved like an asshole (even if not voluntarily), leaving Ebba with the kids while he has his crisis [despite the fact that Ebba is just as shocked], only to have Ebba restore his balance by engineering a situation where he can save her – and then Tomas goes right back to being an asshole. And all of that at a pace that should have been set more to avalanche and less to glacier. I even fell asleep a couple of times, I admit.
There was potential in the story. I really liked the set-up and if it had been less about the guys, I think that it could have been interesting. There was also always a lot of implied juxtaposition with the hotel’s janitor – I would have loved to get a little more of that as it added an interesting moment of class to the entire thing that is mostly missing in these kinds of films.
Somehow it makes me want to remake the film with the same fantastic cast, but (more) from Ebba’s perspective. That would be amazing.