Starring: Helena Bergström, Peter Eggers, Ida Engvoll
Director: Colin Nutley
Running Time: 114 mins
The Medicine (Medicinen) is a Swedish film about a middle-aged woman who, after being left by her husband for a younger woman, takes a chance on a trial for a new medicine, which delivers unexpected results.
Though it’s arguably a little long for its own good, The Medicine does deliver some good chuckles throughout, as we watch a downbeat middle-aged woman effectively reborn through the magic of a brand-new medicine.
As you might expect, the film is distinctly Scandinavian in its brand of humour, and although it’s not necessarily a dark movie, the film does count on more subtle and sharp comedy to make you smirk, but never to really make you laugh out loud.
That said, The Medicine lies almost on the edge of being a properly rollicking farce, thanks mostly to the lead turn by Helena Bergström, who is properly hilarious in this movie, balancing a captivating and realistic performance with a bout of genuinely funny physical humour.
Bergström starts off just as the movie suggests, seemingly bored, downbeat and always on the receiving end of whatever rubbish life is throwing her next. However, as her frustrations begin to bubble to the surface and the effect of this trial medicine takes hold, hilarity ensues.
With a sly attempt to get her own back on the world that’s been treating her so badly, it’s a joy to watch Bergström’s character really come out of her shell, and she delivers a brilliantly energetic performance that allows that story to take hold in the film’s latter stages.
While I can’t say that The Medicine delivers wall-to-wall hilarity on account of its more subtle style, the film does strike a nice balance between fun, off-the-wall humour and clever storytelling that makes it an enjoyable, albeit not always entirely enthralling watch. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.2 overall.