At the rare family gathering, the eldest son of the respected businessman accuse him of abusing him and his other children. The movie explores the journey that each character takes to determine whether the accusation is true or not.
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Helge, the father, is celebrating his 60th birthday. He is a rich man. Aside from friends and relatives, his children are her: Else (his wife), Christian (eldest), Helene and Michael (youngest). The one missing is his Christian's twin sister, Linda, who killed herself several months ago. While having dinner, Christian accuses his father of abusing him.
As each of the characters explore the truth or lies behind Christian's accusation, the movie pulls us and forces us to take the journey of discover with the characters. However, early on, it became clear that the one thing that fuels the movie is the control and influence that Helge has over his children. As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that his children became who they became because of Helge. It was an unwelcome influence but the kind that his children can't let go of.
It has brought about hatred in the family but that hatred doesn't dissipate their admiration and respect. So much so that Christian ended up beating a woman who said something bad about his father after he publicly accused him of abusing him.
Helge's influence is demonstrated, not just in words, but even in their personalities. As Helge is unraveled, so are his children. As they go about looking for the truth while living their life, they show off certain actions that clearly demonstrate how much of their father is living in them. There is this thing about Christian and one his sisters, an inappropriate closeness that's similar to the closeness that he is accusing his father of. There is Helene, the restless girl who seems unable to listen to anyone else.
Perhaps, the biggest demonstration of this influence is the way everyone chooses to make logic of the situation. Even with certain evidences, the wife and the children are able to steer their reasoning to favor the father they hate, fear and love.
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It is this complex emotions that confuse them and shield them from the truth. This confusion is then passed on to the audience. As evidences are revealed and memories are recalled, details are also reinterpreted which also puts evidences out of context.
The truth becomes harder and harder to realize. So hard, in fact, that even as the movie concludes, you are left wondering whether how you understood is correct or not.
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