Kira’s Reason: A Love Story (En Kærlighedshistorie)

There is a genre of movies that are well-intentioned, but completely unpleasant to watch. You watch because they are Important. These range anywhere from historical tragedies (where you already know how it ends) to the infamous, and aptly named Disease of the Week dramas. You feel like you have to sit through the films out of duty, while suppressing any negative comments for fear of sounding un-politically correct.
Our Rating

Genre(s): Drama

Director: Ole Christian Madsen

Actors: Stine Stengade, Lars Mikkelsen, Camilla Bendix

Year: 2001

MPAA Rating: NR

Country: Denmark

On that note, meet Kira (Stine Stengade), a woman who has just come home from a stay in a mental hospital. Her husband Mans (Lars Mikkelsen) is a great guy: sympathetic, and gently encouraging his wife back into a normal daily and social routine. Except Kira is not quite well yet, which we know because she occasionally gets inexplicably googly-eyed or starts weeping. Mans is very tolerant, as Kira embarrasses herself in public at the pool with her child (which I’ll admit, is a truly disturbing and riveting scene), or waking up in a stranger’s bed… in Sweden (!). Mans’ tolerance starts to slowly wear down (which is totally understandable) until there is a tense cruelty of simmering emotions between the couple. But they truly love each other (note the title)…

Kira’s Reason is an official Dogme film, with a shaky camera, documentary-like urgency, that works quite well to the film’s advantage when Kira is flipping out. At times it is like watching a home movie, where you try to spot the crazy person at the party in the background.

Stine Stengade as Kira is quite good, though, just like happens with Mans, she starts to wear you down after a while. I found that I not only didn’t like Kira very much, but I also didn’t really care for Mans either. With a movie like this, there really needs to be some emotional investment on the part of the audience for the filmmakers to get their Important Message across. Instead, I felt like one of the uncomfortable people at the dinner party. Kira’s Reason made me restless and want to leave the room.


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