From nihilistic Scandinavia hails this anemic, glorified soap opera about a man, Christoffer (Ulrich Thomsen), who inherits his deceased father’s ironworks factory and with it the family’s propensity to do everyone around them harm. Only too eager to devastate the man’s exaggeratedly happy relationship with the beautiful Maria (Lisa Werlinder), director Peter Fly whisks Christoffer to Copenhagen where his viperous mother forces him to take over where his father left off. Reminding her hubby that he once lost 30 pounds and nearly died while working at the factory, Maria promises Christoffer subservience for two years while he caters to his family’s demands. This is enough time for him to destroy family bonds (he fires his brother-in-law for allegedly spreading rumors and gunning for his job) and ax over a hundred employees in order to cover his father’s financial mistakes. In the film’s most vile and preposterous sequence, Maria leaves him and as a result he attempts to rape the maid (naturally). Every character trajectory is painfully schematic, and the filmmakers evoke cause-and-effect in the simplest terms possible, whorishly contrasting Christoffer’s attempts to save his firm with Maria’s attempts to rescue their marriage. “You’re cold as ice,” Maria wails from her soapbox, and after one too many “I just want to help you"s and “I don’t recognize you anymore"s, she decides to use her get-out-jail card. The Inheritance is the equivalent of watching a man walk into quicksand knowing perfectly well that he will sink to his death. For a more mysterious, generous, and complicated account of the way business enslaves a man and destroys his personal life, check out Laurent Cantet’s Time Out.
- Cinema Guild
- 115 min
- Peter Fly
- Peter Fly, Dorte Høeg, Kim Leona, Mogens Rukov
- Ulrich Thomsen, Lisa Werlinder, Ghita Nørby, Karina Skands, Lars Brygmann, Peter Steen, Diana Axelsen, Jesper Christensen, Ulf Pilgaard, Dick Kaysø, Sarah Juel Werner, Lucy Andoraison Hansen, Eric Viala
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