We saw this movie back in 2005 at the London Film Festival and have been desperate to see it again and drag everyone we know along. Now it's finally got a brief release in London we've dusted off our review...
Hands up if you saw Noi The Albino. It didn't get a huge release here, but was a cracking little film (probably find it in Fopp for a tenner). Dark Horse is by the same director and is an absolute gem of a find. The dark edge of Noi is discarded with here and we get a straightforward slacker comedy that even made stony faced film critics from the broadsheets laugh out loud. This is a funny film.
It follows Jakob Cedergren's Daniel as he drifts along through life with no plan other than to do his thing and avoid any hassle if at all possible. When we first meet him he's been called into the tax office to try and explain how it is that he's only officially earned seven dollars in the past four years. Daniel is frankly baffled that the tax system exists at all. Minutes later he's pulled over (eventually) by the police for ignoring traffic signs and holds off the bemused cops until the track he's listening to through his beloved headphones finishes.
Daniel's best friend is the 'play it by the rules' Grandpa (that's his nickname) - an overweight yin to Daniel's yang who dreams of becoming a professional football referee (he's hardly seen out of uniform) after getting the highest ever score on the theory test. Their friendship is constantly strained by the fact that Grandpa receives very little for conforming while he sees everything that Daniel needs fall into his lap with no effort. Things come to a head when they fall for the same girl working at the local bakery - Tilly ScottPedersen's Franc - off her head on magic mushrooms.
Daniel does have a job - sort of - he gets paid cash for stenciling graffiti around the city on the behalf of lovesick couples (kind of like Banksy doing requests) leaving him plenty of time to pursue Franc and avoid her man-hungry mother (don't mention the grandmother... we were crying with laughter).
The film loses a little steam when it introduces a new character quite late into the running time to act as another counterpoint to Daniel's lifestyle and frankly it's unnecessary and distracts from the joy of watching the characters we've already invested in interact and eventually crash headlong into responsibility.
Just when you think the film can't possibly get any better director Dagur Kari throws in the one single colour frame in the entire movie and floors you.
Dark Horse plays tomorrow and Thursday evening at the Cine Lumiere at 6.30pm and 8.45pm