Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund – 2014) A

A good marriage is a balancing act. It’s not easy to get two individuals with different personalities and backgrounds, ask them to stick together through thick and thin…forever. For the pact to work both parties need to have an understanding about each other. Something that says “you will be there for me when I need you”. What happens when all of a sudden one spouse loses that faith in their mate? In Force Majeure a nice Swedish couple with their two kids are on a ski vacation in France when an avalanche occurs. The father seems to run out and try to save his ass George Costanza-style. Now, no one is actually injured during the incident but the happy couple cannot just go back to their older lives as if nothing happened and enjoy the remaining 6 or 7 days on their vacation.

They try. They do not want to be “like that”. When they start discussing the events that happened they have very different versions! A certain balance has been disrupted and there is no going back. She thought that her husband will always be there for her and his kids but is that really the case? What happens if he had to choose between his life and theirs? The movie tackles lots of these questions in various discussions. A split second decision does not just impact them two but also their kids and even their friends. I particularly enjoyed the discussion they have with another couple. What seems to start off as light-hearted discussion about the avalanche quickly becomes a very awkward debate about instinct, love, human nature and the difference between men and women. It’s a movie that can be subtle at times (mostly) and very blunt in its conclusions. Either way it is one that addresses important questions and does that extremely well.

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