Review – PURE (“Till det som är vackert,” Lisa Langseth, 2009, Sweden)

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TILL DET SOM ÄR VACKERT || 2009, Sweden || Drama || Directed by – Lisa Langseth / Written by – Lisa Langseth / Produced by – Helen Ahlsson, Jessica Ask, Gunnar Carlsson, Mikael Frisell, Michael Hjorth, Christian Holm, Helena Sandermark / Music by – Per-Erik Winberg / Cinematography by – Simon Pramsten / Editing by – Malin Lindstrom / Art direction – Lena Selander / Starring – Alicia Vikander, Samuel Froler, Josephine Bauer / 97 mins.

PURE, (aka TILL DET SOM AR VACKERT), French poster, Alicia Vikander, 2009. ©Nordisk Film/Courtesy

“Pure (Till det som är vackert)” by Linda Langseth (2009, Sweden)

Directionless and unhappy twenty year old Katarina lies her way to an internship at the Gothenburg Concert Hall, awakening to an unstoppavle attraction towards classical music. Incenting in all effects a new identity for herself, she also embarks on a dangerous liaison with a much older and married orchestra conductor, which further complicates the road full of lies and deceit in which she obsessively embarks.

Pure is a film about the dangers of ambition and determination, made all the more suspenseful by its psychological depth. It is as much a coming of age drama as it is a film noir. The meticulous work of cinematography, mostly defined by cold lighting, further reveals the approach utilized by director Lisa Langseth, who also wrote the film’s screenplay, in maintaining a type of non-judgemental distange between her character and the camera, which leads to Katarina seeming all the more enigmatic, behaving at once as heroin and villain.

Alicia Vikander is terrific in her leading performance, and her intensity adds mystery to the character and her intentions. – 4/5

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