Film: The Bothersome Man

Sometimes too much is never enough, or so suggests The Bothersome Man (2006), a quirky and visually striking Norwegian dark comedy. When Andreas (Trond Fausa) is delivered to an immaculate new city, he’s handed everything he needs in life: an apartment, a good job, a car, money. He even falls into a great relationship with beautiful interior decorator Anne Britt (Petronella Barker). Indeed, everything is so perfect he can hardly believe it, or enjoy it. So to the dismay of the cheerful automatons running the city, he starts peeling away at the city’s spotless fa├žade, looking for something more satisfying.

The pace is quite Scandinavian and the artistic message definitely falls in the category of “first world problems,” but The Bothersome Man is an entertaining little film. Its approach is reminiscent of Terry Gilliam or David Lynch, if more subtle and scaled back: an amusing quasi-SFnal commentary on the complacency and dehumanization of modern life. As such it’s not all that surprising thematically, but the tactics are often inventive and off the wall. In the end it makes a memorable, singular impression: quite good.

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