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Copenhagen Cowboy film assessment (2023)


Angela Bundalovic offers a largely one-note (deliberately) efficiency as Miu, the stone-faced hero of this journey into the prison underworld. She would not speak a lot, smile a lot, or do a lot. In reality, Refn is content material for big chunks of “Copenhagen Cowboy” to merely linger on her unexpressive face as issues occur round her. Her character expands as required later within the sequence by the story, however she’s such a clean slate for therefore lengthy that it drains any potential momentum. Refn and writers Sara Isabella Johnson, Johanne Algren, and Mona Masri even give the blue tracksuit-wearing heroine a little bit of a supernatural tinge as she’s launched as a literal good luck appeal bought by a lady who desires to get pregnant and believes she has the ability to make that occur. Other than just a few combat scenes, Miu exists on a distinct airplane from what’s taking place round her, a daring narrative selection however one that does not match with Refn’s model, which might already really feel indifferent and is now even one step additional faraway from actuality. It would not be shocking if Miu simply disappeared in a scene or shot lasers from her dead eyes as a result of there is not any inner monologue or purpose to the character, which turns into a bit exhausting.

“Copenhagen Cowboy” opens with Miu being offered to the aforementioned lady who desires a baby. She runs an underground brothel dominated by violence. Throughout Miu’s adventures within the Copenhagen underworld, Refn feedback on man’s base instincts, usually evaluating them to animals. When an underling is crushed, the audio combine switches to pig sounds for his pained squeals. The father of a vicious killer cannot cease speaking about his prick, even asking Miu if he desires to see the “cultural asset” between his legs. There’s a way that “Copenhagen Cowboy” is Refn taking his macho male archetype hero and seeing what occurs with a gender swap, however he would not dig far sufficient into that concept. Most of the concepts in “Copenhagen Cowboy” are underdeveloped, and Refn is repeating greater than he’s reinventing.

He’s additionally repeating stylistically, washing “Copenhagen Cowboy” in shiny neon blues and reds. Working with cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jonck, Refn takes a languid strategy to visible storytelling, permitting his digicam to slowly circle a largely empty room till it nearly stumbles on a composition. Refn has reportedly revealed that the title has nothing to do with this bizarre, hole present and that he simply preferred the sound of the 2 phrases he selected earlier than he even began writing. That course of appears to seize the depth of this complete challenge, one which performs with numerous fascinating components however has so little enjoyable doing so.

Whole season screened for assessment. Premieres on Netflix on January 5th.

 

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