Klown is a film spawned from the creators of the successful Curb Your Enthusiasm–esque Danish TV series of the same name. Having been made in 2010 and displayed across the festival circuit and the US, it’s finally making the rounds in UK cinemas from 6 December. About time too – it’s not one to miss!
What’s it about? A debauched buddy road trip movie in a canoe. Klown follows Frank, a hapless (athough of his own making) middle-aged man-child. In a mad, desperate attempt to display his parenting skills to his newly pregnant girlfriend, he kidnaps her 12-year-old nephew, Bo, and brings him along on a lads’ canoeing trip with his horny best friend Casper. Their “Tour De Pussy”, in Casper’s words.
Verdict: The combination of Casper’s gigantic libido and Frank’s well-intended but disastrous parental attempts land the three of them in a number of hilarious, outrageous and ultimately compromising situations. The level of debauchery is sometimes so overwhelming, you often don’t know whether to laugh or cry (or cringe and writhe uncomfortably in your seat for them). And with their list of offences including misogyny, rape allegations and a moment of borderline child pornography, you somehow still find yourself rooting for this simultaneously affable yet depraved pair. You will for them and their corrupted young tag-along to get out of their self-made problems unscathed. This is testament to the brilliant storytelling and comedy writing of Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, who co-star as their respective characters of the same names.
Refreshingly, it is largely unapologetically amoral. If you look hard enough, there is some heartfelt sentimentality – usually echoes of the foretelling wise words of their cab driver at the beginning of the film – “Every man has the right to be the father he’s capable of being.” On top of this, unlike most lads-on-attempted-tour films, the crimes against women and boys-will-be-boys excuses are sometimes given a harsh spotlight, allowing us to reflect, albeit briefly, on some stark misogynistic realities. However, in most of these cases, when you think you’re about to be served a small portion of morality or a modicum of sappiness, they snatch it right from you and replace it with a photo slideshow of male genitalia (in one uproarious scene in particular). In the end, you’re left with the distinct feeling that nothing much has changed in the characters; perhaps still a fairly novel contrast to the plot arcs we can become used to in the movie theatre.
Final Words: Replace red wine with Underberg – I’m still not entirely sure exactly what that is – and the car with a canoe, and what you’ve got is a far more twisted, shock-humour lovechild of Alexander Payne’s Sideways and The Hangover.
With solid storytelling and just the right blend (and no more!) of twisted humour and emotional pacing, you’ll be completely immersed in this original journey of these klownish anti-heroes.
Klown is in UK cinemas from 6 December 2013.