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Movie Review: The Danish Girl- It Is Love, Beyond Love itself

“The Danish Girl”  is one of the intimate and most heartfelt film that was shown this month. It was a story of love beyond measure. A wonderful expression of how to free yourself from the norms of society. It tackles an issue beyond the time it was set and remained sensitive on the matter. 

The performance of Alicia Vikander (Gerda Wegener) was just perfect and stunning. She was a wide array of exciting and dramatic. Her interplay of gestures and silent scenes with Eddie Redmayne (Einar Wegener) has just made the story more appealing. Truly, a film can convey more message even if the words are not uttered. 

The film's production team and costume designers were highly commendable for providing a wonderful set of props and set-ups that made everything believable. There were careful color scheme choices and fashion research seen in the film. The flow of the story gives you the rush of the moment, and let's you savor the taste of the sumptuous scenes. A wild mix of the known and forbidden that led to a kaleidoscopic perspective of the reality of life and love.

In 1926 in Copenhagen, artist Einar Wegener is married to Gerda Wegener and is revered for landscape paintings. Gerda is also an artist, less renowned but steadily working as a portraitist of prominent citizens. Theirs is a strong and loving marriage, yet personal and professional epiphanies have eluded them both.

That all begins to change one day when, on deadline for a portrait, Gerda asks her husband to fill in for a model by putting on a dress so that she can finish the painting. The experience is transformative, as Einar soon realizes that being Lili is an expression of her truest self, and she begins living her life as a woman. Gerda unexpectedly finds that she has a new muse, and renewed creative ferment. But the couple soon brush up against society’s disapproval.

One of the most promising actors of her generation, Alicia Vikander has been a talent to watch in cinema in 2015, gaining international recognition, one film after another. After receiving acting prizes from several critics groups for her breakout role in “Ex Machina,” Vikander starts 2016 in style – copping her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her poignant performance in Universal Pictures' controversial drama, “The Danish Girl.”

Eddie Redmayne admitted however that living as a woman on the set left him feeling “vulnerable”. He dropped a huge amount of weight to play artist Einar Wegener, who in 1930 became one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery before renaming herself Lili Elbe.

Revealing how tough it was to get into the role of a transgender woman, he said: “It leaves you feeling very exposed and vulnerable. The set itself felt very safe when I would be walking around as Lili but there was still this sense of people watching you and feeling judged,” he lamented. “Imagine what it must be like for trans women who are constantly facing such judgment as well as discrimination and violence in many cases.”

Redmayne Aims for Back-to-Back Oscars with "The Danish Girl"

Based on the book by David Ebershoff, “The Danish Girl” is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener (portrayed by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne [The Theory of Everything] and Alicia Vikander [The Man from U.N.C.L.E.]), and directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (Les Misérables). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

Scripted by Lucinda Coxon film also stars Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts.

“The Danish Girl” opens across the Philippines on Feb. 3, 2016 and will be distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

"The Danish Girl" (2015)

R-16 | 1h 59min | Biography, Drama, Romance | 3 February 2016 (Philippines)

Our ratings: ★★★★★★★★

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