Deliberate and Effective: Our Review of ‘Hevn (Revenge)’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - May 27, 2016
Deliberate and Effective: Our Review of ‘Hevn (Revenge)’

Sometimes those old Kilngon proverbs just need to be dusted off in order to get emotional satisfaction.

Hevn (Revenge) actually proves that old proverb right, because while this slow burn of a thriller does takes its sweet time getting anywhere, the pay offs are just absolutely delicious and well worth the wait.

Deep in the majestic and idyllic fjords of Norway, lay some deep dark secrets as Rebekka (Siren Jørgensen) on the hunt for some old fashion revenge.  Years ago, her little sister was violated in the most heinous of ways and is now looking for her attacker, one Morten Holand (Frode Winther); a local innkeeper living a dream life with his family.  Hell bent on vengeance for her now deceased sister, she enters the town under an assumed name as she sets out to destroy the perfect life of this small town “Golden Boy”.  However, the deeper she digs the more obvious it becomes that her actions will have a deep and resounding effect on the entire town and she has to decide how far to go in order to get satisfaction.

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An incredibly strong debut feature from writer/director Kjersti Steinsbø, this Canadian/Norwegian co-production has an incredible amount of poise from beginning to end.  She takes us into the idyllic clear waters and picturesque mountainside and lets it all close in around at a deliberate but still fairly effective creeping crawl that gets under an audiences skin without them even realizing what has just happened.  Granted, I’ll be the first to admit that pacing of the narrative is a little “European” (which is usually code for slow) but it has to be, that’s why this whole things works.  Steinsbø never hits us over the head with any forced dramatic reveals and everything happens more or less as it should as she peels back the layers in this story like an onion.  It’s not just about getting satisfaction, but about getting satisfaction exactly the way we want it.

Siren Jørgensen plays our heroine with exceptional aplomb throughout the story.  Nothing ever feels rushed and her character is always in control from beginning to end…if she was in a rush it just wouldn’t feel like the same movie.  She weighs every decision that she has to make and we feel the dramatic weight of what is at hand for her character at every turn.  While Frode Winther as Morten gets to give us a subtle but increasingly creepy character portrayal as we this town that he begrudgingly tolerated and looked the other way at his crimes and indiscretions, simply can’t do it anymore.

Ultimately, Hevn (Revenge) is a solid piece of counter programming in the tall grass of the studio tent pole movies in which we now reside.

Hevn (Revenge) is now playing at the TIFF Bell Lightbox here in Toronto.

This post was written by

David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.