"Verdens verste menneske" (2021), or "The Worst Person in the World," is a Norwegian drama-comedy film directed by Joachim Trier. This critically acclaimed film centers around the life of Julie (Renate Reinsve), a young woman navigating her way through love and career in modern-day Oslo.
Plot and Themes: The film is structured in twelve chapters, following Julie's life as she grapples with existential questions and indecision. Trained as a medical doctor, she shifts her career path to psychology and then to photography, reflecting her uncertainty and constant quest for fulfillment.
Her romantic life is equally complex, as she moves from one relationship to another, struggling to find contentment. Her relationship with Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), an older and successful comic book artist, contrasts sharply with her later romance with Eivind (Herbert Nordrum), a younger and less established figure.
Themes of identity, ambition, love, and the fear of making the wrong choice resonate throughout the film, painting a picture of a generation that has infinite possibilities but also faces the pressure of unlimited choices.
Acting: Renate Reinsve's performance as Julie is truly remarkable, capturing the essence of a character that is relatable yet contradictory. Her emotional depth and nuanced portrayal make Julie's journey engaging and authentic. The supporting cast, particularly Anders Danielsen Lie, also delivers strong performances that complement Reinsve's standout role.
Cinematography and Direction: Joachim Trier's direction is stylish and sensitive, with a keen eye for detail that brings out the emotions of the characters. The cinematography by Kasper Tuxen is fluid and aesthetically pleasing, adding to the film's contemporary feel.
Music: The soundtrack, which includes both original score and selected tracks, effectively underscores the film's moods, ranging from introspective to whimsical.
Criticism: While the film has been largely praised, some viewers might find Julie's indecisiveness frustrating, and her character may not resonate with everyone. The segmented chapter structure might also feel disjointed to some.
"Verdens verste menneske" is a beautifully crafted and thought-provoking exploration of modern life, love, and the human condition. With an exceptional lead performance and insightful storytelling, it offers a reflective look at the complexities of choice and self-discovery. It's a film that encourages introspection and empathy, making it a standout piece of contemporary cinema.