By David Dent
Style and mood wise Jesper Isaksen’s debut 2019 shot feature positions itself between two movies that were made around the same time as this: Panos Cosmatos’s ‘Mandy’; and Joe Begos’s ‘Bliss’. So if you’ve seen either (or both) of those, you’ll know what you’re in for: gaudy Euro colour scheme; bursts of intense violence; screaming synth soundtrack; melon twisting events happening within a very slight narrative.
Man mountain Charly (Rudi Køhnke) has lost his girlfriend Amy (Louise Cho). Retracing his steps back to a seedy hotel in Copenhagen, which might actually have been the last place he saw her, and befriending punky receptionist Felicija (Siff Andersson) along the way, Charly descends into a downward spiral of vodka, cocaine and escort girls in his search for the truth.
‘Victim of Love’ obeys the ‘Oedipus Rex’ law that what you set out to discover can ultimately do you no good; Charly’s search for his missing girlfriend will inevitably end up in his own metaphorical backyard. Køhnke’s passionate, unhinged performance will draw parallels with a certain Mr Cage’s recent career decisions, but if anything Charly is an even darker character than anything inhabited by La Cage recently.
Isaksen loses points by having the majority of his female characters appear as prostitutes or – shock – sexually dominant women, and at times this felt like watching an early Paul Verhoeven movie. But there’s no denying that, on a low budget, he has created a world that looks amazing, is full of odd and intriguing characters, and doesn’t shy away from the icky stuff. Cautious thumbs up then.
Victim of Love is available now on Digital Download and DVD from Indican Pictures.