Review: ‘One Eye Red’

A colorful, fast-paced adaptation/abridgement of a popular literary novel referred to as Sweden's "Catcher in the Rye," helmer Daniel Wallentin's debut feature, "One Eye Red," can be appreciated in its own right as an affecting coming-of-ager.

A colorful, fast-paced adaptation/abridgement of a popular literary novel referred to as Sweden’s “Catcher in the Rye,” helmer Daniel Wallentin’s debut feature, “One Eye Red,” can be appreciated in its own right as an affecting coming-of-ager. Seriocomic narrative treats universal issues such as grief for a dead parent, feelings of alienation from a homogenous society, teen rebellion and first love. Staking out the culture clash with evocative music, pic also finds clever cinematic solutions to convey its protag’s thoughts and dreams. Skewing toward youth and family auds, pic, which opened domestically in September 2007, reps quality fare for fests and broadcast.

Teen protag Halim (appealing Youssef Skhayri), a first-generation Swede of Moroccan ancestry, starts a journal to help cope with his mother’s death and his father’s (Hassan Brijany) desire to assimilate. When otherworldly neighbor Dalanda (Anwar Albayati) warns him against the “integration plan,” a secret conspiracy to turn all immigrants into good Swedes, he styles himself “sultan of the mind,” and plots acts of resistance while falling for pretty classmate Jasmine (Evin Ahmad). Top Swedish thesp Mikael Persbrandt cameos as himself. Bright tech package is aces.

One Eye Red

Sweden

Production

A Tre Vanner production, in co-production with Sonet Film, Film i Vast, Sveriges Television (SVT), Spiltan Underhallning, in cooperation with TV1000, with support from Swedish Film Institute/Johan Bogaeus, Nordic Film & TV Fund/Svend Abrahamsen. (International sales: Sonet Film, Stockholm.) Produced by Fredrik Wikstrom. Directed by Daniel Wallentin. Screenplay, Karin Arrhenius, Wallentin, Fredrik Wikstrom, based on the novel "One Eye Red" by Johan Hassen Khemiri.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Ari Willey; editors, Bernhard Winkler, Robin Siwe, Daniel Wallentin; music, Johan Testad; production designer, Lina Nordquist; sound (Dolby Digital), Magnus Andersson. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Another View), July 11, 2008. Ett oga rott Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Youssef Skhayri, Hassan Brijany, Anwar Albayati, Evin Ahmad, Asmaa Houri, Mikael Persbrandt. (Swedish, Arabic dialogue)

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