Men & Chicken
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen
Men & Chicken is a black comedy about two outcast brothers, who by getting to know their unknown family also discover a horrible truth about themselves and their relatives.
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★★★★ review by Xavier on Letterboxd
★★★½ review by Jonathan White on Letterboxd
TIFF 2015 Film # 13
Reason for pick – Writer/Director Anders Thomas Jensen – Flickering Lights, Adam’s Apples
After a 12 year absence, writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen is back with his pal Mads Mikkelsen for another absurdist escapade. This outing leans more towards comedy, and less on the dramatic than the previous two I’ve seen. This can be considered a plus and a minus. On the positive site the laughs come quicker, but on the minus side they aren’t as hearty when they come compared to the previous Jensen films I’ve seen.
Mads is always a treat to watch, and you can tell he’s having a ball here playing one of two brothers on a mission to find their biological father on the tiny island of Ork. Upon arrival, they discover that they likely have three additional siblings, and that there are deep dark secrets holed up in their paterfamilias domicile. Now, these deep dark secrets can probably be guessed at before the opening credits finish, but, getting there is the fun.
Not my favourite Jenson, that title would go to his 2005 film Adam’s Apples, but a fun little romp none the less for a rainy day when you’re cooped up.
★★★½ review by Michiel Venmans on Letterboxd
Mænd & høns
(Anders Thomas Jensen)
Gezien met Britt in de Cinéma Galleries.
We zaten in zaal 1, maar toen begon de film Kollektivet (The Commune) van Vinterberg. Dat was mis merkte ik al snel. Ik had mijn schoenen al uitgedaan. Op mijn sokken ben ik aan de balie gaan zeggen dat ze de foute film hadden opgezet. Het bleek dat zaal 1 helemaal niet zaal 1 was maar eigenlijk zaal 3. Zaal 1 was beneden, wij zaten boven. Dat verklaarde het is misverstand. Toen ben ik teruggekeerd om mijn schoenen aan te doen en Britt mee te nemen. Mijn voeten stonken wel wat, veel gezweet. Toen we in zaal 1 zaten, de juiste zaal was de film al 5 minuten bezig, dat vond ik jammer. Het scherm hing ook heel hoog, hierdoor moesten we omhoog kijken. Dat was wat lastig. Deze film is een leuke aanrader, zeker voor mensen die The Lobster leuk vonden. Hou altijd je schoenen aan en ga in de juiste zaal zitten, de kans is groter dat je in de foute zaal zit in plaats van dat zij de foute film hebben opgezet. Ik heb nog geen enkele taak voor school afgerond.
★★★★ review by Kiko Vega on Letterboxd
Pues resulta que The three stooges tienen dos hermanos desconocidos hasta la fecha.
¿De dónde venimos?
No está muy claro. ¿Qué fue primero, el huevo o la gallineja?
A buscar a nuestro padre biológico.
Mi primera experiencia con el cine de Anders Thomas Jensen me deja con ganas de más. Aquí hay hostias slápstickas para dar y tomar, gags verbales a la velocidad del rayo y mucha mala baba. Y mucho más, pero haz como yo: no veas ni el tráiler.
★★★★ review by Ellis on Letterboxd
Men and Chicken takes a while to pull itself together, but when it does, it exceeds its own black comedy confinements and becomes deep-rooted in nature. The cinematographer uses an inventive blend of sharp blues and tepid oranges, which perfectly respresents to dysfunctional family element of the narrative.
All of the acting here is exceptionally good, all of the comedic elements are handled with perfect timing and complete ease, but there's also a few unexpected moments of characters acting unfeigned, whether it was an acting choice or a directorial choice I don't know, but it's a good addition to something that's already very good. It's certainly a very strange and adventurous role for Mads Mikkelsen to be taking, but his comedy is surprisingly great, he without a doubt carries and steals every scene he's in, but David Dencik has a few prodigious moments, especially in the latter half of the film.
My one issue with the movie consistently is that none of the characters are very reactionary, I'm not sure if it's intentional, but it's something that bothered me. A lot of drastic changes to the plot (character deaths, strange discoveries) nearly loose there impact because none of the characters feel like they're experiencing much amazement. In a way it adds to the strangeness of the world it's set in, but I think more reactionary character moments would've helped.
I really love how ambitious Jensen was with this project, It's an untypical blend of multiple genres and comedy styles, I feel a little bit of Paul Thomas Anderson's style in here, perhaps some earlier David Lynch also, there's a lot of their strange stylistic talent and comedy here. So, yes, Men and Chicken is an extraordinarily peculiar comedy movie, with some surprisingly moving subtext that's sure to be on my mind for a while.
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