This very New Wave-styled Norwegian film manages to be thoughtful and intelligent, stylish without being vapid, touching, and it brilliantly captures the exuberance of youth on the cusp of adapting into maturity. Reprise follows two best friends and aspiring writers; Phillip finds success immediately but cannot handle it, and Erik must fight through rejections. Director/co-writer Joachim Trier (cousin to Lars) has given the film a hypnotic triptych narrative structure, meaning there are flashbacks, flash forwards, flashbacks within flashbacks, and the viewer is best advised to just succumb to the thrills of the narrative and sort it all out later. The structure made me feel totally immersed in the lives of this small unit of 20-somethings. You get a lifetime of detail thanks to the tangential narrative structure and the help of an occasional narrator. The film has a remarkably deft touch when it comes to crafting realistic characters; the pangs of uncertainty, jealousy, and insecurity all ring true without being trite or obvious. But the movie never gets dour or pretentious as it covers weighty topics. The movie also has an indelible energy that is hard to ignore. Reprise is playfully edited and constantly moving, sometimes forward, sometimes backwards, sometimes telling us a possible scenario that sounds better than reality. I found several small moments to be provocative, like Phillip trying to replicate the happy memories of time and place by trying to re-stage a photo of his girlfriend with his girlfriend (a lovely Viktoria Winge). Reprise is full of small tender moments that speak volumes. This is a terrific film brimming with life and verve and clearly targets Trier as an inspiring filmmaker to watch.
Nate’s Grade: A