" Be careful of the deadfall "
— Anthony Hopkins, The Edge

MRQE Top Critic

Les Choristes

The French confection Les Choristes is now available on a skimpy, movie-only DVD —Matt Anderson (DVD review...)

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The big Norwegian surfing competition is coming, and a monster wave is on its way as well, a rare phenomenon in which one wave grows massive as it steals power from its neighboring wave set. MonsterThursday is a Norwegian surf drama centered on disturbances in the atmosphere and disturbances between lovers.

At Karen and Tord’s wedding, the best man is Karen’s ex-boyfriend, Even, who makes an embarrassingly bitter speech about losing his former love to the groom, who is a talented surfer and has a good job. Karen is even pregnant with Tord’s child, much to Even’s chagrin. Tord may not be fully committed to his burgeoning bride, however; when called away on a business trip late in Karen’s pregnancy, Tord surfs in Bali and lies to Karen. The dissolute Even decides to try to win the beautiful Karen back, and becomes more sympathetic when he makes a sincere effort to master the slippery art of surfing to impress her.

Surfing provides a metaphor for life in this film as in many other surfing films; here, Even does everything the hard way. He chooses a tricky, showoffy short surfboard when advised that longboards give a smoother ride and are more “old school.” When he gets into the water, he completely fails, battered by the surf until his friends have to haul him out of the water. Even’s surfer guru tells him to relax in the water: “You don’t always need to struggle to survive.”

In one subplot, the surfer guru falls in love with the atmospheric scientist who is predicting the monster wave. In one scene that gives a glimmer of hope to the entire film, these characters show the elegant simplicity of falling in love with someone who loves you in return, in direct opposition to the complex and unfulfilling melodrama of the Even-Karen-Tord triangle.

Whether Even would become a mensch, compete in the surfing competition, win Karen’s heart again, and confront the monster wave kept me guessing throughout most of the 104 minutes of this stormy romantic drama.

  • melissa flynn: has this movie come out yet? i saw it @ 05 sundance and would like to see it again. January 24, 2006 reply
  • Rise Keller: This film seems to be on the festival circuit. Its distributor is Sandrew Metronome Norge A/S, the largest distribution company in Scandinavia. This means that to see it again at a theater near you, you may have to go to Scandinavia -- or get lucky and find a festival near you that is screening it.

    For more surfing dramas, you may want to try Big Wednesday, The Endless Summer, Riding Giants, Step Into Liquid, In God's Hands, and Blue Crush. January 25, 2006 reply
  • Benjamin: MonsterThursday is available on dvd through www.filmmovement.com August 20, 2006 reply