A delicate portrait

Film: The Danish Girl

Director: Tom Hooper

(Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance)

Release Date: February 5

Rating: 9/10

Text: Yeonwoo Baik

“The Danish Girl” features a story loosely inspired by the lives of two Danish painters, Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film follows Lili Elbe’s life journey as a trans woman.

The film is certainly dealing with a sensitive topic, but it seems that Tom Hooper managed to handle the topic in a fine manner. The film is not trying to cause sensation out of this sensitive topic and take advantage of it. On the contrary, it approaches the topic in a cautious manner throughout its course. The complicated emotions seeping through every scene are well orchestrated by the director and delicately acted out by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. The film tries to show, rather than bluntly tell, the complex course of all those events and emotions regarding living as/with a trans woman through this exquisite orchestration, which adds to the delicacy of the film. Indeed, ‘delicate’ will be the most appropriate word to describe this film. It seems that the delicacy of the film is completed by its soundtrack directed by Alexandre Desplat. And within that delicacy, the film still bears strong narrative and gripping drama.

I must say that this film sometimes gets too sentimental, and that the sentiment presented in the film is downright intended to stimulate the public rather than those who want to dig deeper into the topic than general public does. The film is undoubtedly meant for mainstream and this is the point where the film is most criticised. It is true that we definitely need more films that deal with this topic in more serious and academic, or political manner. In that sense “The Danish Girl” certainly did not succeed. Still, “The Danish Girl” is complete and well-made in a cinematic sense. In addition, it tried in its own way to depict all those complex matters that arise regarding the issue of gender identity. I don’t want to be too harsh on this film as some critics are.