Review: ‘The Fakir’

Offering "Harry Potter"-style juvenile fantasy on a less physically imposing but still effective scale, Danish kidpic "The Fakir" is Gothic-lite family entertainment. Fun package should appeal to programmers wherever children's market tolerates dubbing, and might tempt remake offers elsewhere.

Offering “Harry Potter”-style juvenile fantasy on a less physically imposing but still effective scale, Danish kidpic “The Fakir” is Gothic-lite family entertainment. Fun package should appeal to programmers wherever children’s market tolerates dubbing, and might tempt remake offers elsewhere.

More level-headed than their dotty widowed mother (Sidse Babett Knudsen), teen twins Emma (Julie Zangenberg) and Tom (Aksel Leth) are dubious when they first lay eyes on the rambling, sinister mansion known as “Eye of the Moose.” But mom is taken with it, and the rent is cheap, so the family moves in. Kids soon discover a fountain pen that has had Spanish magician Lombardo (a delightful Moritz Bleibtreu) trapped for 50 years. They let him out, keeping him as a secret pet (if not always a cooperative one). Heultimately helps foil two dastardly thieves (Peter Gantzler, Fares Fares), who are after a jewel hidden in the house long ago. A little creepy — Peter De Neergaard’s production design for the shambling cob-webbed manse is impressive — but mostly funny, pic, adapted from prolific scribe Bjarne Reuter’s novel, is engaging all-ages fare. Helmer Peter Flinth lends it smart pacing and a slick widescreen look.

The Fakir

Denmark

Production

A Danish Film Institute presentation of an M&M production. Produced by Tivi Magnusson, Mie Andreasen. Directed by Peter Flinth. Screenplay, Meete Heeno, from the novel by Bjarne Reuter.

Crew

Camera (color, Cinemascope), Eric Kress; editor, Mogens H. Christiansen; music, Soren Hyldgaard; production designer, Peter De Neergaard. Reviewed at Mill Valley Film Festival, Oct. 8, 2005. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Sidse Babett Knudsen, Julie Zangenberg, Aksel Leth, Moritz Bleibtreu, Ole Thestrup, Peter Gantzler, Fares Fares, Lisa Nilsson, Ashwari Chopra.
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