Original title:Superposition
Director:Karoline Lyngbye
Running time:105 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Creative couple Stine and Teit and their young son Nemo abandon their city life in Copenhagen to settle in a remote forest in Sweden, where they hope to find themselves as individuals.

Mulder's Review

Superposition is a Danish thriller that delves into the intricacies of identity, relationships, and the challenges of parenthood, all set against the backdrop of a remote forest. Directed by Karoline Lyngbye, the film offers a unique and thought-provoking narrative that explores familiar themes in an unfamiliar and unsettling context.

The story begins with Stine and Teit, a Danish couple who decide to move to a secluded forest in Sweden for a year, seeking isolation and introspection. Stine, an aspiring writer, hopes to overcome her writer's block in this pristine environment, while Teit, a podcaster, plans to document their year off the grid. The couple's young son, Nemo, and their dog Tarzan accompany them on this adventure. Their decision to undertake this journey is motivated by the desire to reconnect as a family, as their marriage has been strained due to Teit's infidelity and Stine's loss of interest in their relationship.

From the outset, it's clear that there's tension within their relationship. Teit's podcast recordings, initially intended to be a shared endeavor between the couple, soon become more like couples therapy sessions, pushing the boundaries of their honesty and exposing their unresolved issues. As old grudges and resentments resurface, it becomes evident that their relationship is hanging by a thread. Despite their intentions to use this isolation as a means to heal, they struggle to provide the attention and care their son, Nemo, needs in this secluded place.

The film takes a dramatic turn when Nemo begins to act strangely, and Stine notices other people living across the lake, despite being promised complete solitude. As she explores the woods with Nemo, she loses sight of him briefly and hears another woman calling him by name. When she finds Nemo again, he vehemently claims that she is not his mother.

What unfolds next is a surreal and mind-bending twist: another Stine and Teit, essentially doppelgangers, arrive at their door, searching for Nemo. These doppelgangers, who mirror the Danish couple in every way, are in the midst of a divorce and will go to great lengths to reclaim their missing son. The narrative takes a profound and unsettling turn, blurring the lines between reality, psychological distress, and science fiction.

Superposition weaves elements of Swedish changeling myths, parallel universe science fiction, and writer's block fantasy into a complex and layered narrative. The film presents an exploration of self-identity, relationships, and the consequences of deception as it dives deep into the psyches of its characters. Stine and Teit's podcast recordings, which were meant to be platforms for honesty, reveal the struggles they face in accepting their own truths, let alone each other's. The title of the film, Superposition, aptly reflects the layers of genre, deception, and personality that submerge the characters and their relationships.

Marie Bach Hansen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard deliver outstanding performances, showcasing the complexities of their characters' personalities, their hopes, their connections, and their lingering bitterness. Their relationship is portrayed with warmth and humor, but the underlying tension and unresolved issues are always lurking in the background. The actors do an excellent job in distinguishing between the different variations of Stine and Teit, providing a realistic edge to their interactions and exchanges.

The film's pristine cinematography captures the isolated setting with crisp authenticity, enhancing the eerie and suspenseful atmosphere. The decision to live in isolation for a year, away from the outside world, adds an intriguing layer to the story. The characters' desires for 100% honesty clash with their impulse to edit their lives, leading to a fracture in their reality. Superposition ultimately explores the fragility of marriage, the complexities of parenthood, and the disintegration of a family in a captivating and chilling manner.

While the film is skillfully executed and thought-provoking, some viewers may find that the writing and direction leave very little to chance, carefully spelling out every plot nuance and eliminating some of the potential for surprise. However, the film's exploration of psychological and emotional depths, along with its exceptional performances, makes it a compelling and unforgettable experience. Superposition goes beyond conventional genre boundaries, offering a unique and immersive journey that challenges our perceptions of self, relationships, and the mysteries of the human psyche.

Directed by Karoline Lyngbye
Produced by Amalie Lyngbo Quist, Julia Gebauer, Leila Lyytikäinen, Joakim Rang Strand   
Written by Karoline Lyngbye, Mikkel Bak Sørensen           
Starring  Marie Bach Hansen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Mihlo Olsen
Music by Pessi Levanto
Cinematography : Sine Vadstrup Brooker
Edited by Jakob Juul Toldam                        
Production companies : Beo Starling, Citizen Jane Productions Det Danske Filminstitut, Film i Skåne, New Danish Screen, Way Creative Films
Distributed by TrustNordisk (World)
Release date : NC
Running time : 105 minutes

Viewed on October 30, 2023 (screener press)

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