A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published July 27th 2015
A riotous tale of episodic mayhem
'Here Is Harold' ('Her Er Harold') is a dramedy that tells the story of Norwegian furniture maker Harold Lunde (Olaf Heggdal), who after 40 years of making his business a success, is left bankrupt when IKEA decides to open a new superstore right next door.
In a montage of Harold's life, the audience sees him grow up, marry and have a son, then establish the furniture business. His life then unravels in a series of rapid-fire disasters. Harold becomes destitute, widowed and suicidal when he hatches a plan to kidnap the CEO of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad (Bjorn Granath) which leads to a chain of bizarre adventures. It could be subtitled 'What it takes to make a good man go bad'. Similar in scope to the excellent 'Wild Tales'.
What breathes life into this film are the lead performances by Olaf Heggdal as Harold, Bjorn Granath as the IKEA boss Ingvar Kamprad and Fanny Ketter as Ebba. There are comic moments mixed with pathos. How life turns bad and the long road back. There are no easy resolutions offered, no easy answers. The film is set in Norway among the snowy roads and byways on Christmas eve.
Cinema is currently struggling to produce fine films. But don't just take my word for it. Dustin Hoffman is quoted in The Independent UK saying 'I think right now television is the best it's ever been and I think that it's the worst that film has been for 50 years that I've been doing it, it's the worst.'
It seems film festivals are providing the best outlet for quality cinema. The Scandinavian film festival has provided a diverse program for its second annual festival in Australia. The session for Here is Harold was three quarters full on a Monday afternoon. High patronage comes with offerings as good as this one.
This is a riotous tale of episodic mayhem that is involving from the start. Harold refuses to become a victim, to be defeated. But his enemy becomes more than he bargained for. My favourite scene involves Harold, a huge amount of bubble wrap and a snarling dog. But there are so many laugh out loud moments. Hoping it gets a full cinema release.