Running time: 2 hours
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw.
Tom Hooper once again makes a film which I assume I won’t like and yet I’m proven wrong. First it was The Kings Speech, now it’s Thee Danish Girl. Eddie Redmayne was fabulous in Hawking and yet terrible in Jupiter Ascending. Thankfully he is very good as Einer Wegener who is asked to help out for his wife Gerda, played by Alicia Vikander, as a model who can’t make the final sitting, in order for Gerda to complete her life painting. The feel of the stockings and dress hems and lace awakens something buried deep inside him. This gives birth to a female version of his character who, with Gerda’s help, brings Lilly to life. Soon enough though, Lilly is around more than Einer and when Gerda tries to ask for her husband back, it seems there’s little of him to show. Based on one of the earliest accounts of a transgender operation, this is an emotional roller coaster and one which will have you debating with yourself and others what the right thing to do is. I felt Einer’s plight and struggle early on but began to feel strongly for Gerda too until you just want both to have their way.
To be honest, Redmayne often looks like man in dress and lipstick, while other times he emotes femininity convincingly while not just simply mincing about the place. While Einer and Lilly are strongly portrayed, it’s Vikander’s
Journey that I was pulled along with. Two strong actors who at times felt as though they were in a play to me rather than a movie.
But there’s a weight to the choices made here as you invest in the couple. Also the movie touches on the doctors who analyse Einer and come up with some frightening conclusions.
An important portrayal of a huge step in changes in society which is nowadays much much less of an issue. While it’s important to be yourself and you have that right, what cost to those around you and does your desire outweigh theirs?
C Whitehouse 2016