The Bothersome Man review

It’s Life On Maars as 40-year-old office worker Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurvaag) wakes up after a suicide attempt to find himself in a mysterious city in this engagingly surreal Scandinavian fable. In this brave new spotlessly-clean world, where children are conspicuously absent, everyone seems content yet emotionally subdued. How can Andreas, who yearns to hear the sound of music and to be able to actually taste his food again, escape from this stifling conformity?

Channelling contemporary anxieties about the soullessness of affluent consumer society, Norwegian writer-director Jens Lien makes imaginative use of both rural and urban locations for his dystopian vision. Shot in mostly neutral tones, The Bothersome Man unfolds with a dream-like logic and benefits from the lanky Aurvag’s deadpan demeanour and a vein of droll humour. It’s only on limited release, but well worth tracking down.

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