Throbbing human drama
Set in Denmark in the early 1920s and based on a true life story by David Ebbershoff, ‘The Danish Girl’ is a moving, sensitive drama of sex change and its psychological overtones on its subject Einar Wegner
Set in Denmark in the early 1920s and based on a true life story by David Ebbershoff, ‘The Danish Girl’ is a moving, sensitive drama of sex change and its psychological overtones on its subject Einar Wegner (Eddie Redmayne).
Einar and Gerder Wegener (Alicia Vikander) is a happily married artist couple living in Copenhagen (excellent picture postcard shots of it) till one day Einar fills in for a missing female model for his wife. It is here his hidden female qualities are aroused and his Lili Elbe (Redmayne) personality starts taking shape.
Einar begins dressing like a woman, tends to shun society but still carries out his main commitments. And he is closely supported by his confused wife Gerder. All this while, Gerder’s paintings go to Paris and so does the couple. They meet art dealer Hans Axgil (Matthias Schoenaerts), who coincidentally is known to Einar as a child (in fact was kissed by him). This further complicates things.
So, after thinking things together the couple decides to consult Dr Warnekros (Sebastian Koch), who suggests a hitherto untried sex reassignment surgery in two parts. Meanwhile, Hans hovers around the two because of his concern for Einar and his new found attraction for Gerder.
All this while the narrative flows smoothly thanks to Lucinda Coxon’s imaginative screenplay, considering that the subject covers new ground, and director Tom Hooper also endows it with the treatment it requires, especially when dealing with sensitive subjects like genitalia.
That he is supported by two excellent actors makes it so much easier. We all know Redmayne’s talent and winning an Oscar for playing Prof. Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’ last year. Here he proves his versatility by entering the psyche of transgender and he does it with panache. But in Alicia Vikander we have a very talented artiste destined for future fame.
So with these two hogging the action the others are subsidiary but Mathias Schoenaerts makes more of an impression than Sebastian Koch. But Danny Cohen’s caressing camerawork makes for visual beauty and dramatic relief in this throbbing human drama. Not to be missed!
Ervell E Menezes