This Scandinavian drama will have you traumatised from practically the very beginning of the film. The one most important thing about foreign films is they are never scared to touch on subjects Hollywood hardly ever dares to go. Hollywood would like us to think life is either very high octane or all fluffy and light. In reality the world is a sad and sometimes sick place to live.
A Second Chance see’s Andreas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game Of Thrones) as a young detective, Juggling his home life with wife Anne (Maria Bonnevie), his new born son who just won’t seem to stop crying and his work where his partner, Simon (Ulrich Thomsen) struggles to cope with his divorce.
Whilst out on a domestic disturbance call one day, Andreas and Simon encounter a case of child neglect, discovering a baby left on a bathroom floor covered in its own urine and faeces which shakes Andreas to the core sending him running to the warm embrace of his own young family. This all happens within the first 10 minutes or so of the film starting; it leaves a deep sickening feel in the stomach but you can’t help but to keep watching, yes it will leave you feeling angry especially those that have children will feel this quite deeply. What is refreshing is that the film doesn’t gloss over this subject. We hear this kind of abuse happens but we hardly ever see the subject being addressed in such a graphic manner.
This isn’t the only subject covered, we also witness Andreas and his wife lose their baby to “sudden death” syndrome, if you watch the film you will understand I don’t want to give the whole story away. We see the after effects it has on both of them and how extremely devastating it can be to lose a child and the mental effects it has on the human brain/emotions and the ethical and moral dilemma one can experience in these situations.
The film’s director, Susanne Bier is highly regarded and her previous work includes Serene starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, She certainly doesn’t hold back in this film and it feels like she has been given pretty much a free reign to do whatever she wants with this film.
Coster-Waldau gives such a powerful performance alongside his co-star Maria Bonnevie, if it wasn’t for their outstanding emotional contribution this could have turned out to be quite a cold film, but this paired with the dark, gloomy setting’s and lighting give it a raw, gritty feel with a whole host of reality.
A Second Chance is certainly not one for the faint of heart, disturbed you will be. Traumatised without a doubt but there is certainly is one thing about this film, you just won’t be able to stop watching, it drags you in kicking and screaming and leaves such an emotional drain it’s one you won’t be able to forget in a hurry.
A SECOND CHANCE IS RELEASED ON DVD AUGUST 10TH.