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The freewheeling passion of youth and the unpredictable perils of fate are both the subject and the breathtaking form of Joachim Trier’s lean and kinetic journey through friendship, love, madness and creativity: Reprise. Trier viscerally captures the way life takes off at rocket-speed in the beginning of adulthood – and the what-ifs and why-nots that both drive and haunt us as the unbridled hopes of youth come to a screeching halt.
The fast-moving story kicks off just as Phillip (Anders Danielson Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Hoiner) stand at the mailbox, two cocky, grinning rebels full of 20 year-old verve and dreams, their whole lives hanging in the balance at this singular moment. Each is about to ship off his first novel to publishers, each is hoping to become a wildly influential “cult author,” each has visions of a new life of non-stop intensity, brilliance, romance and nightclubbing.
Fast-forward six months. These reveries have crashed, hard, into reality. Phillip, whose novel garnered instant acclaim and turned him into a mini-celebrity, has had a terrifying breakdown and is just about to be released from a psychiatric hospital. Erik, who never sold his novel, is still pecking away, determined to follow in the footsteps of his undying hero, a reclusive but idolized writing genius, no matter what it takes.
Reprise explores not just what happens to Phillip and Erik as they pick up the pieces but what might have happened to them, what they imagine could happen, what they fear will possibly happen and what they can’t see actually happening. Nimbly moving both backwards and forwards in time – via a dazzling mix of flashbacks, rapid-fire editing, philosophical voiceovers and comical flights of fancy -- the film traces how Erik and Phillip arrived at this precipice where exuberant youth runs into the harsh light of day . . . and witnesses the emotionally gripping aftermath.
Reprise marks the feature film debut of Joachim Trier, who wrote the screenplay with Eskil Vogt. In its native Norway, the film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the national film awards. Reprise's unusual cast includes Anders Danielsen Lie, a doctor and musician, as the romantically enigmatic Philip and advertising copywriter Espen Klouman Hoiner, as the sly and charismatic Erik. Newcomer Viktoria Winge is Kari, Phillip’s girlfriend and muse, with whom he tries, over and over, to recreate the elusive source of his inspiration. The film is produced by Karin Julsrud and executive produced by Scott Rudin.