Blinkende Lygter AKA Flickering Lights 2000 Scene Ulrich Thomsen as Peter practicing boxing on Mads Mikkelsen as Arne

Flickering Lights AKA Blinkende Lygter [2000]

Flickering Lights is one of those movies that will seem oddly familiar. This is a black humor crime comedy with diverse and memorable characters. And we have seen the same plot a number of times before but the script and the cast make all the difference here. This is also a directorial debut for Anders Thomas Jensen who will go on to direct four more movies like this. They all feature almost the same actors and the same style of humor, so be sure to check them out if you’re looking for more of the same. The latest is Riders of Justice, released just one year ago. 

When I first started watching Danish movies, all the actors blended into one. Now, however, I can recognize them immediately. Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas are among those actors. They were all phenomenal here, playing the shit out of that script that called for some unusual performances. And while this is indeed a comedy, some pretty brutal and violent scenes might push it towards the thriller genre. At times, Flickering Lights is also surreal which is not helping with a bit confusing storytelling. This is where those characters jump in and anchor the entire thing with their crazy antics.

Sometimes you just have to grab life by the throat and stop the vicious circle that you’re in. Four small-time gangsters in Copenhagen decided to do just that by stealing a lot of money from their boss. On the run, they decide to flee to Barcelona, Spain. However, they just have to make one little stop along the way.

Full of bizarre situations and wacky black humor Flickering Lights is quite an intriguing movie. The focus is firmly fixed on our protagonists. Flawed and emotionally unstable they bare their souls for our viewing pleasure. So, all we have to do is follow them as they make their mental journey. Moreover, we get a glimpse into the mind of a common criminal and how they perceive the world around them. Something that we’ve seen in another great Danish crime movie Pusher, only with a more serious vibe. All these movies are touching upon the role of a male as it is proposed by the tribal system of values. We might refer to it as boomer men to make it easier.

There’s something heartwarming about Flickering Lights. Among all the blood, offensive jokes and behavior, there are real people struggling with this thing we call life. They also had the misfortune of growing up in a toxic environment that ultimately made them what they are. But they are trying…

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen

Writer: Anders Thomas Jensen

Cast: Søren Pilmark, Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Sofie Gråbøl, Peter Andersson

Fun Facts: Stefan (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is seen eating in almost all of his scenes.


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