NOW WATCHING: "Collision" (2019) is the sophomore effort by the Avaz family. Three Iranian brothers have gone their own way and delivered an extremely well shot family melodrama that is not afraid to let the deep emotions unfurl. We the jaded audience may struggle with such a naked display of feelings, shift in our seats when a series of tragic events tear a successful family apart and leave the principals as dysfunctional wrecks. For we are not used to watching the main characters go through so much adversity and hurt in Danish film. In "Collision" we have to let go of ourselves, get over that unspoken Danish taboo of high strung melodrama in our national cinema. The Avaz brothers are bucking that trend of understatement in modern Danish film, leaving no tidy conflict to be played out. There is no emotional and narrative restraint to help the audience through it all; instead we are inexorably drawn into a spiral of deep despair and find ourselves having run out of tissues long before the film reaches its conclusion and resolution. Only the most hardened cynics will not be moved by the character of the nine year old daughter, Liva. She is played by another member of the Avaz family, Karla Avaz, who has done a great job and easily holds her own in a cast that counts such seasoned veterans as Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Tommy Kenter. This is a film about tough decisions, life-changing decisions, and how we people deal with sudden change and the personal loss of our loved ones. Only the denouement shows signs of narrative weakness, things are too rushed, and the whole thing keels over when Avaz resorts to arty montage in slow motion. "Collision" is not quite the masterpiece it sets out to be, then, but it is nice to see that there is room for these mellers in new Danish cinema.
..and why not?
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