Binging on Mads Mikkelsen Films (Part 4)
Yes, I’m still binging on Mads Mikkelsen films. In this installment I review his roles in After the Wedding, Jagten, and The Three Musketeers. I’ve got four more films waiting to be viewed and, as always, I am open to suggestions about what I should watch next!
For reviews of En Kort en Lang, Bleeder, Flammen og Citronen, Blinkende Lygeter, Pusher, Nu, Valhalla Rising, Adams Aebler, and Vildspor, head on over to my review page.
After the Wedding
Mads speaking English and Hindi. Lots of close ups of Mads’s eyes. Mads being a caring and adorable aid worker in India. All of this alone is worth watching it. But really, there’s a million reasons to watch it. The plot is actually very interesting, but I almost don’t want to summarize it because I went in blind and when the big reveal happened in the first third of the movie I was pretty stunned. I encourage you to go in blind like I did. Essentially it’s about a guy named Jacob who does aid work in India, but he gets pulled back home to Denmark to try to secure financing for the orphanage he runs. The little trip gets complicating and we get some heartbreakingly emotional acting by Mads.
This is the first film I’ve watched where Mads speaks English for an extended period of time. He said a few words in Vildspor, but it was mostly drunken rambling. It’s definitely the same voice box that produces Hannibal Lecter’s voice, but Mads put so much emotion behind his words that it sounds like a completely different person. Hannibal is calculated with everything he says. Jacob is more natural and conversational. He’s gentle and kind and caring. It’s been hard for me to judge this when he’s speaking in his primary language, but it really stood out here.
This one definitely needs to be seen. If you’re picking and choosing the best, this is one of the best. I cried a lot at this. Most of it was happy tears, but there are some heartbreaking moments as well. It’s gorgeous and I highly recommend it.
Mads plays Lucas, a man who works at a kindergarten and it fighting with his ex wife about custody of their son. The first fifteen minutes features lots of adorable scenes of Mads playing with children, but then once the plot starts it becomes nothing but one tragic event after another. Usually when I review something I open up a document and take notes, but I was so heartbroken I couldn’t bring myself to write anything coherent (I mostly just posted crying gifs on Tumblr, honestly). It’s just that devastating.
At this point in my reviews you should be able to tell I think Mads can do just about anything. He’s already made me cry before, but the intense amount of grief he can convey on his face is just astounding. This was a very very hard film to watch not only for the content (trigger warning: discussion of childhood sexual abuse), but for how emotional that man’s acting can make me. I had to pause it several time because I was just too heartbroken.
The Three Musketeers
I didn’t choose this film. It chose me. I’m staying with a friend for three weeks and she is well aware of my Mads Mikkelsen binge because I post about it on all my social media accounts, like, all the time. She got really excited a few days ago because she noticed that a Mads film was playing on TV. She set it up to record for me and everything. This wasn’t a film I was even aware of when I started my binge, but it fell in my lap so I gave it a watch. It was a nice fun movie after the emotional destruction caused by Jagten and After the Wedding. There’s action sequences, special effects, beautiful costumes, and lots of snarky humor.
Mads plays Captain Rochefort, a very attractive one eyed bad guy with a goatee. :Yes, once again his left eye is all messed up. This seems to be a common theme with his roles. This is my first entirely English speaking film with Mads and it’s also the first where he’s played the Villain. From my understanding most of his English language roles are villains, so I feel this is the first of a long string of similar villainous roles. Considering my first exposure to him was the role of Hannibal Lecter, you wouldn’t think this would be too jarring, but I’ve now seen him in eleven consecutive films where he generally plays a good guy (yes, ok, he’s a gangster in Pusher, but he’s not a villain), so I was rather enjoying watching him flex his acting muscles.
That said, Mads looks fabulous in highly stylized period clothes and it’s all around a fun film. If you need a break from all the serious films, give this a shot. He’s not a main character, however, so there are long portions of the film that he’s not in at all. If you’re looking for roles where he gets to stretch his acting chops, this is not that film. We do however, get to see Mads sword fight. Keep in mind Mads was a dancer before he was an actor, so he really shines when doing anything physical. He definitely has a shot to show off a bit there.
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.