Movie Review: THE DANISH GIRL (2015) – Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander
‘The Danish Girl’ is a Romance/Drama Biopic that highlights the story of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener and how their relationship evolves during Lili’s transgender transformation. This movie was very emotional, incredibly well acted, fantastically shot and told a very interesting and dramatic story that had me fully engaged pretty much the whole way through. The biggest draw to this film was the inclusion of two of my favourite actors right now, Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. Put one of them in a film and i am most likely going to see it, put both of them in a film and there is no way i’m gonna miss it. Their performances are the real highlights of the film, i feel that Alicia’s performance isn’t going to be as recognised as Eddie’s because he did have a much more complex role and did it amazingly. Redmayne managed to transform into this person to the point where you only saw Lili, it was fantastic to see not only Eddie transform into the character but to also watch Lili’s transformation from Einar into her true self. Will Eddie follow up his Oscar win last year with another one? Probably not. But i do see a nomination on the horizon.
The big focus of the film was Lili’s emotional journey, and her transformation from a Danish painter to the Danish girl. The topics and themes surrounding transgender people are not so widely talked about or represented today, so it was incredibly interesting to see this film represent those themes and how the idea of being transgender differed in the 1930’s from the way it is today. I would have liked the film to go a little more into those complications than it did, but seeing some of it play out was somewhat eye-opening and does raise many questions that are still fairly relevant today. I found this journey very engaging and knowing nothing about the story it is based on made for a very unpredictable plot that surprised me on more than one occasion. Where i would say the film was a bit of a let down was where there were times where i felt like i had already seen similar emotional scenes a few times throughout the film. There were a few moments where it didn’t feel like the film was going anywhere, and i think all of that was due to the second act being so long. The first act ends rather early and the third act begins fairly late and the second act was pretty long and did have a few repetitive moments. But when you are very invested in the journey of Lili’s character, it didn’t matter so much in the film overall.
So in the end this is a very engaging film with a lot of emotion, great performances, is very well shot, and covers many themes related to being transgender that raises a lot of questions for the viewer. This is a vey ‘Oscar Bait’ film, it is clearly made to hopefully be a contender at the Oscars, and i feel like it may have tried a little too hard to appeal to that audience and it may have suffered in some other areas. But it is still a film i would recommend if romantic dramas are your thing.