A Danish woman wakes up on rocks in the middle of a French river; cue a slick, but not that revolutionary mystery.
There is a definite trend for Scandinavian films and TV at the moment. We’ve had The Killing, Wallander, The Bridge and now this. However, with ID:A the premise is nothing new, but there are some nice twists and turns along the way.
When I started out watching ID:A I was a little confused because I thought it was supposed to be a Danish film. For perhaps for the first 20 minutes none of the film’s characters speak a word of Danish and none the action takes place anywhere near the home of bacon and Lego.
As I said the film starts with an unknown woman waking up in the middle of a river. How can you do this you ask without drowning? Well she’s lying on rocks with a cut on her head, a recently stitched up wound on her stomach and a duffel bag with €2 million in. A typical day you wouldn’t say.
Gradually the woman starts to realise that she too doesn’t know who she is either and so it’s not just us. It’s only when, after making friends with a local French hotelier, she reads a tourist brochure that she realises that she is actually Danish.
Prior to this revelation she is speaking perfect French, although in an accent that is strange to her and her new Gallic chum. It’s not clear as to whether she could speak French this well before her bang on the head or if this was a result of the trauma. It is, probably, the least believable part of the story.
She knows that something is up, apart from probably having the mother of all headaches, the duffel bag has what can only be stolen money. She also has a sketch of yet another unknown person. It’s with this in hand that she heads off to Denmark. When she arrives pieces start to fit together.
ID:A is like one of those films that the BBC makes. The script is OK, but nothing out of this world. The production values, acting and everything else are of a high enough standard not to jar on you. There are some good car chases, gun battles and stuff like that. The trouble is, although the building blocks of a good film are there, there is really nothing that amazing to draw you in. There are a few twists along the way and some of the storyline towards the end of the film is explained with flashbacks. These work well and also help you fill in the blanks about the eponymous woman.
Where as the other Scandinavian dramas that we mentioned at the start have drawn in viewers and critical acclaim in equal measure for good reason, there are, unfortunately, not that many reasons to shell out money on this one. If it pops up on TV some time and you have a spare two hours where you don’t have anything better to do, then give it a watch. If you don’t though your life won’t be incomplete.
Review by Henry Tucker
ID:A is released on DVD in the UK on 14th May by Chelsea Films.