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Friday, May 27, 2016

Sean Kelly

Review: Hevn (Revenge)

A woman seeks vengeance against the man who molested her sister in Hevn (Revenge). Rebekka (Siren Jørgensen) arrives at an isolated hotel situated in the fjords of Western Norway. Posing as a travel reporter named Andrea, Rebekka states that she wants to interview the hotel's manager Morten (Frode Winther) for an upcoming article. However, Rebekka has a completely separate agenda, since twenty years prior her younger sister Emma (Rakel Hamre), who recently committed suicide, was molested at 13 by a then 19 year old Morten. Blaming him for her sister's death, Rebekka plans to lay out a trap for Morten to ensure that he doesn't harm anyone else.

They say the vengeance is a dish best served cold. Indeed, Rebekka waits a full two decades a full two decades before deciding to make Morten pay for what he did to her sister Emma. Emma was never the same in the years since the molestation and her suicide is the tipping point that sends Rebekka on her quest for vengeance. Under the pseudonym Andrea, she quickly befriends Morten's wife Nina (Maria Bock) and childhood friend Bimbo (Anders Baasmo Christiansen), while also meeting Maya (Helene Bergsholm), who was also apparently molested by Morten, even though nobody in the community believed her accusations.

There is a scene in Hevn, where Rebekka is going kayaking with Morten's wife Nina and reveals her tragic backstory, minus the revelation of who was responsible. Nina then mentions a similar experience a friend of hers went through and she noted that the friend has to fight to be believed and that the perpetrator only spent a few months in jail. It's that scene, which nails the themes Hevn is going for in the head. Even though this is a story of vengeance, Rebekka quickly realizes that her revenge can't be anything as simple as killing Morten. Instead, she comes up with an elaborate plan to use, the teenage daughter of Morten's friend Ivar (Trond Espen Seim), Sara (Kine Bortheim Jentoft) as bait and catch Morten in his pedophilia and ultimately destroy his seemingly perfect life.

First time filmmaker Kjersti Steinsbø creates a successful psychological thriller about a very timely issue that people of any culture can relate with. While the story of Hevn does seem to resolve itself a bit quickly, the film is still worth checking out, especially for the scenic and beautiful establishing shots of the surrounding fjords.

8 / 10 stars
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Hevn (Revenge) opens today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).