When talking about Danish cinema, there might not be that many tangents that people are currently able to discuss with confidence.
Maybe there will be a mention of acclaimed director Lars Von Trier, and perhaps there might even be a discussion on the original version of The Killing. Though when it comes to light-hearted affairs, the titles run thin on the ground. After recently seeing the 2010 film Klown, however, it can safely be said that Danish comedy has a lot more to offer than most countries, and will soon be lauded for its outlandish approach to the genre. Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, starring Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, creators of the eponymous Danish comedy show, Klown really looks to push the boundaries of comedy to the limit, in a way that many others could have only ever dream of.
The story centres on a middle-aged loser, Frank, and his sexually charged best friend, Casper, as they prepare for the canoeing trip of a lifetime: the aptly titled “Tour De Pussy”. However, when Frank finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant, he does what any normal man would do, in order to prove he is ready to be a father – he abducts his twelve-year-old nephew, bringing him along on the trip.
…grossly inappropriate humour…
For anybody who is at all familiar with Hvam and Christensen’s work, they will know that they are not averse to discussing risqué topics in their humour, with their previous work taking a comedic approach to the worlds of paedophilia, cannibalism, and cancer. This is an element they have certainly included here, with the grossly inappropriate humour comes thick and fast throughout, including such scenes as a man masturbating over an elderly woman, the photographing of a miniscule penis, and the world’s most awkward threesome. Shocking, disgusting, yet hilarious!
However, underneath all of the boyish bravado, past all of the scenes of an unsuitable nature, comes a quite poignant coming-of-age tale, where a man’s acceptance of his own personal failures arrives, only after losing everything that has ever been dear to him. Universally this is a film that will speak to all cultures, all genders, and will stay with them all for a very long time.
…pushing the boundaries on what is acceptable to be laughed at…
It has be said that the film is not without its flaws. Made for an obviously low budget, the camerawork was too chaotic and, at times, disengaging from the believability in certain scenes. Furthermore, there were certain transitions that seemed far too abrupt for the nature of the story, where the characters’ journey continued simply for the sake of it continuing. Nonetheless, with laughs as good as this, minute details did not matter for one moment.
For any fans of comedy, Klown cannot be missed. It is clear to see why Todd Phillips (The Hangover) wants to remake the film for an American audience – this film is definitely within his ‘type’. Constantly pushing the boundaries on what is acceptable to be laughed at, with some scenes too extraordinary to even describe, it has set a new comedy benchmark for not just the Danish culture, but also any new comedy releases here on in. Good luck to anybody trying to top it.