Great films come in all shapes and sizes. Some look great, while others just make you think, and others are mostly about specific extraordinary performances. “Reprise” is that rare breed that manages brilliance on all fronts, but does so without a single recognizable actor, a single special effect or a story that follows an easy narrative thread. Instead it rips pages from everything from “Run Lola Run” to the Dogma films to last year’s “Control,” suspending reality, speculating on the future and meditating on the present. In it two young writers in Oslo each drop their debut novel manuscripts into a mailbox This sets off two parallel voyages that will lead them unknowingly into different arcs of discovery.
Set to the dark mediations of Joy Division, and filled with subtle allusions to everyone from Russ Meyer to the great existentialists, “Reprise” is a tribute to hipsterism, but it is also fragile and self-conscious. Each character is ultimately forced to deal with each other’s success and failure at a time when both outcomes inform the rest of their lives. All of these events and emotions happen at an incredibly fast pace, both emotionally and cinematically.
But more than anything the film explores the importance of recovery: from a broken heart, from the shock of rejection, or the paralyzing effects associated with success. “Reprise” is without a doubt one of the most creative, inventive films in years. It captures the hope and dreams of youth, tempered with the complexity or becoming an adult. I relate entirely. This film is a minor major masterpiece.