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Malmkrog (NYFF 2020); Grade: B+

Strictly Films welcomes you coverage of this year's 2020 New York Film Festival!! We want to thank the New York Film Festival, as we're highly grateful for the opportunity to watch films from the festival all the way from Las Vegas! Along with Malmkrog, we have fifteen more films to review from this festival, so expect a lot of content over the next few weeks!

First film on the block of our festival journey is Malmkrog. Malmkrog tells a story about a group of individuals, that gather around a spacious manor house, as they discuss some personal themes. Themes include the military, death, religion, good and evil, race. Witness a film that’s structured fairly simple in story telling, but explored heavily on dialogue alone.

The Cinematography was fine, it's a nice looking film, the set pieces were very elegant and exquisite, very fancy. The Score when presented was fine as well. The cast all around were solid as a whole, there's not really a strong performance in this nor a weak performance as well.

When I think of films set in one particular setting, I atomically think of the classic 12 Angry Men. The difference is 12 Angry Men excels not only on dialogue, but also in storytelling even though not much is changed within the setting. With Malmkrog you can say there isn't really a story at all, it's just like I said describing the plot, that's basically it. Flaws include when the film is not focused on the conversation at hand anymore, as it becomes dull, thankfully this film rarely ever turns away from it. I do believe this could've been cut about ten to fifteen minutes, didn't care for the sixth part of the film, plus the whole shooting fiasco was unnecessary.

Other than those flaws mentioned: I loved this film. The conversations at hand regarding every single character, is the reason why this film is so good. It's a completely engaging film, as when these individuals partake in discussing these personal themes... It's honestly heavily fascinating, as your mind is explored to new heights. It almost felt like I was in the same room as them, as these are conversations in which I wish I can discuss out loud, but unfortunately modern day society makes it extremely difficult to do so. What I love about all these characters in general, is even if they don't agree with each other on their views, they remain respectful the entire time and just explain their own point of view, to make the other person understand their own perspective. Nobody is screaming or calling each other terrible names, these are matured adults just talking... You here that Modern Day Society, you don't have to be complete douchebags when having a conversation with someone that is different than you, take notes.

In a way I did gain a much better understanding of the concept of life out of this film. In a way life is like one big contradiction, to no matter where you turn to, it's just completely confusing as everything cancels each other out. This is honestly a special film, as I can compare the likes of other thought revoking films that discuss deeply on religion. Whether it be The Last Temptation of Christ, Silence, First Reformed.

Overall, Malmkrog is a great film. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if you're into films that have great writing. -Mitch Smietana

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