THE COMMUNE (KOLLEKTIVET) (2016) by Thomas Vinterberg
“You choose your family”
Thomas Vinterberg being, actually, one of the most important filmmakers from Denmark is a fact. Co-founder with Lars Von Trier of the Dogma 95’s movement, he already delighted us in 1998 with the intense “The Celebration”, being this not only one of the most representatives movies of the Dogma 95 but also of his career. However, he reached the top of his international succes with “The Hunt”, a devastating story about how cruel the society can be, starring the fantastic Mads Mikkelsen.
Years later he comes back to his country to film “The Commune”, a story that he uses to remind the years that spent himself, during his adolescence, in one of them.
Set in the 70’s, “The Commune” tells the story of a middle class family formed by Anna (Trine Dyrholm), a TV presenter, Erik (Ulrich Thomsen), an architectur professor, and their teenager daughter Freja (Martha Sofie). When Erik inherits his father’s old mansión, Anna and Freja will insist in keeping it and share it with friends or other people to afford the expenses. Although at first Erik disagrees because he doesn’t want to loose the intimity with his family, we hill end up accepting.
“The Commune” is a clear example of how the utopian situations are hard to achieve, because people’s behaviors are unpredictable. With the values “we are all equals”, “no one rules” and “everything is for everyone” this group will create some norms to reach a fair homework distribution, as a fair expenses and other aspects distribution. They try to make disapper the concept “property” as something individual because everything in this place is for all the people that live there.
At the beginning the’ll try be true to the principles that have united them, but little by little the harmony will fall apart, as each one of them will be incapable to follow some of the norms created. On the other hand, this situation that seemed idyllic to the outgoing and open minded Anna, will neither be as she expected. Being Anna the center of attention in all the reunions, Erik will stat to feel a bit pulled apart, what will lead him to a new life in which he can feel the protagonist.
Is interesting that “The Commune” makes son many questions to think about, both about living in a commune, as about the marriage and how each person faces different situations. But is inevitable to lose some really interesting ideas that could arise in this lifestyle, because the director leads the movie to focus in the troubles between Anna and Erik.
But nevertheless, Anna’s character is amazing. Is impressive to see Trine Dyrholm playing this woman that fights herself to try to remain true to the woman she wants to be, and that ends lost in a situation she can’t control. With no doubt, the best of the movie. This actress is marvelous.
All of this seen, partly, by Freja’s eyes, a teenager that has to live in an adult world, finding out her identity and a lifestyle. I feel like this character has been created by the director as a reflex of himself, of his experience. Freja will be spectator of his parents’ marriage destruction, and she will be important in some moment of the plot, but her character will vanish in most of the situations.
To sum up, this movie loses some aspects with potential in its way, but shows with mastery the rupture of a marriage and Anna’s behavior. Still, is interesting the picture of the commune, and how peoples union creates new “families”.
Traducido por: Irene Subiela.