A Horrible Woman

2017 [DANISH]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 2404 2.4K

Plot summary

When Rasmus meets Marie, he is certain that she is the love of his life. However, it doesn't take long before it turns out she is a possessive and manipulative being, that cunningly dissects Rasmus to pieces.

September 19, 2023 at 02:51 PM


Christian Tafdrup

Top cast

Amanda Collin as Marie
Christian Tafdrup as James
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
786.2 MB
Danish 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...
1.58 GB
Danish 5.1
25 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by CineMuseFilms 8 / 10

a portrait of perfect gender compljmentarity

A question many viewers may have on leaving A Horrible Woman (2017)is whether the film's title is meant to be ironic or judgemental. Today's gender politics make such questions inescapably loaded but this film can also be read as a portrait of perfect complementarity between the sexes.

A simple plotline keeps the focus on its two principal characters. Likeable bachelor Rasmus (Anders Juul) envies his friends' long-term relationships yet values his freedom until he meets the beautiful, vivacious, and interested Marie (Amanda Collin). They are well matched: she is forward and assertive, he is quiet and compliant. Each time she advances into his emotional space, he yields ground. She moves into his apartment and changes everything, while he squirms but is powerless to act.

We observe the story through two frames: one is through the eyes of friends who envy Rasmus his good fortune; the other is through his own diminishing sense of self. The more she deploys femininity to manipulate him the more he meekly acquiesces. In two different scenes, asMarie reaches new thresholds of control, she makes eye contact with us, the viewer, in a "look at what I can do" moment. Chillingly, this conscious duplicity may also be a signal of mental illness and it leaves no doubt that Marie is conscious of her power. Rather than sympathise with her victim, his weakness tempts us to think he deserves what she dishes out. The story takes a few twists and turns through his attempts to stand up to her, but his efforts are not enough to alter the narrative arc of his emasculation.

What are we to make of this unusual film? The director has been attacked as a misogynist, but the recognisability of Rasmus and Marie and their complementary characteristics makes this a broader study of relationships, rather than just another gender battle. They could have swapped gender and the story would play out with as much veracity, but perhaps less entertainment. If this is a valid litmus test, then the film rises above gender discourse.

The performances of the two stars are exemplary. Amanda Collins excels across her repertoire of feminine wiles while Anders Juul is her perfect guileless pawn. The filming style is claustrophobic Nordic domestic drama, with enough black humour to lighten its load. This entertaining study of gender roles makes you wonder how the planet has survived so long.

Reviewed by calspers 7 / 10

An interesting and realistic depiction of an abusive relationship

"A Horrible Woman" directed by Christian Tafdrup is an utterly realistic depiction of abusive relationship tendencies, seen through the perspective of protagonist Rasmus.

Both leads deliver convincing performances of these aspects of human behavior, and the abuser's gender is not solely important in my view. Much more so are the psychologically regressive and detrimental forms of behavior that are presented, and which both the film's characters and we as viewers are forced to reflect upon.

I think this is an intelligent drama shedding light on some of the unhealthy habits and patterns that many of us have come across in life, and without relying on cliches, the film concludes open-endedly.

Reviewed by auritone 9 / 10

Are you ready to look yourself in the mirror?

Few movies manage to get under your skin and force you to reflect on who you are as a person in terms of relationships. This movie does that in both satirical and humorous ways, but also in dramatic, cringe worthy ways, where the worst inside of us is painfully portrayed. If you think this movie is just about a horrible, possessive, and controlling woman, you are wrong! It is also about the superficiality of male bonding and the destruction of personal identity that happens in any abusive relationship - whether the perpetrator is a man or a woman. I myself, as well as everyone I have talked to who have seen it, saw many painfully recognizable things in these two extremely well acted characters, which brings the poster for the movie into perspective. A Horrible Woman dares us to look in the mirror and be confronted with our own shortcomings and I triple dare anyone who see it, to NOT discuss it afterwards.

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