Walk With Me (De Standhaftige) (2016)

Country: Denmark

Language: Danish

Much has been said about companionship being the greatest form of love. As elusive as this feels sometimes, it often presents itself in the most unlikeliest of places. Little did I know that I would find it in a small budget arthouse Danish film, where a weighty subject matter finds its match in the weightlessness of companionship.

Set in the wake of the conflict in Afghanistan, Walk With Me explores the debilitating effects of war and the healing powers of nascent love. Heavily wounded from a mission in Afghanistan, Thomas (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) is re-adjusting to life in a rehabilitation ward as a double amputee. Despite his injuries he remains fixated on returning to the war-torn country and is dismayed at his glacial rate of recovery. When Sofie (Cecilie Lassen) – an ascending ballerina whose aunt is also recuperating at the same ward – offers to oversee his rehabilitation regime, Thomas grudgingly accepts.

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It is perhaps unsurprising that such an adroit and delicate portrayal of light, love and ultimately, regeneration, could only have been made possible by the feminine touch. Lisa Ohlin (as director) and Karina Dam (as screenwriter) deserve full credit for this. Ohlin herself revealed that inspiration for the film stemmed from real-life meetings between wounded soldiers in Denmark and dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet. Love was an inescapable ingredient.

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What did surprise me was the effectiveness at which such a slow-burn romance tugged at the heartstrings. They spoke little; instead relying on their deepening companionship and spiritual symbiosis to convey what words could not. Ohlin’s subtleties in delivery accentuated the protagonists’ personal charm, particularly that of Folsgaard, whose elevation from the mad king in A Royal Affair to the quintessential Scandinavian heartthrob was all but complete. Lassen’s onscreen debut as Sofie is exquisite, and as a former ballerina herself, adds an authentic, uplifting balance to Thomas’ ruggedness. And in an ending reminiscent of Hollywood’s Brooklyn, the natural serenity of Copenhagen put on the charm offensive, sealing their romance against the fading rays.

Walk With Me will no doubt stay with me for a long while. Whilst it may not have been Denmark’s answer to its submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards (the film was one of three shortlisted but the honour went to an equally deserving war tale Land of Mine), it gave me my answer to the underpinnings of an unforgettable love.

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Rewatchability Index: 4/5.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Forestwood says:

    I have added this to my wishlist. I do like Danish films, so it is a must add.

    1. Jolene says:

      Excellent, I’m glad you are intrigued about the film! Please feel free to share any Danish films that you’ve enjoyed! 😊

      1. Forestwood says:

        There is so many. In another World, Brothers are two that come to mind.

      2. Jolene says:

        Yes I did enjoy in a better world, that was a classic. I will check out Brothers! 😊

      3. Forestwood says:

        I thought of a few others. The Hunt with Mads Mikkelsen, ( intense but excellent), The Kings Choice ( Norwegian /Danish) They Royal Affair, and Headhunters (Norwegian). I also enjoyed Occupied, a Norwegian series on netfflix… Have fun exploring.

      4. Jolene says:

        Excellent list, we do share a similar penchant for Scandinavian filmmaking. ☺️

      5. Forestwood says:

        I would love you to tell me what you think of them. It is fun to compare ‘notes’

      6. Jolene says:

        Thanks for those recommendations. I love your taste in film. 😊 Mass Mikkelsen is one of my fave Scandinavian actors (funnily, only when he stars in Scandinavian films). I did review The Hunt as well, it was uncomfortably gripping. https://somuchtotellyou.blog/2015/08/09/the-hunt-jagten-2012/

      7. Forestwood says:

        Ok. I will take a look at that link. Thanks

  2. pinkmalemode says:

    Oh thank you for the recommendation! I wonder if i can find it on Netflix

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you for taking note! It’s a lovely story, gritty but most of all, heartwarming at the right times. Hope you can find it online or perhaps catch it at your next local Scandinavian film festival. 🙂

  3. Bernadine says:

    Thanks for sharing! By the way, im having a blog party and you’re invited! Its a great way to get blog publicity. Check it out: https://thelittleflourbed.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/blog-party/

  4. Not sure about the film as I haven’t got a chance to watch it (thank you for the suggestion, definitely on my watch list now) but the effortless words of praise you have showered on this work of cinema sure proves how true a movie enthusiast you are♥️ brilliantly summarised, friend😊

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks Ms Twinkling, I’m sure no one has actually seen it haha! I’m a sucker for obscure movies, in particular, their character development. The only thing is, when I inevitably Google about them in real life that’s when I crash back to earth! 😂
      Hope you had a great weekend.

      1. Hahahaha why if I may ask? Because it’s heartbreaking to realise they’re unpopular?!

      2. Jolene says:

        Yep. I’m all for the underdogs. And I find that I have a special ability to appreciate the under-appreciated. Much of the time, popularity is not driven by actual greatness, but just great marketing and exposure.
        I suppose ultimately we all blog so that we can be appreciated a little more in life, no? 🙂

      3. Oh, Jolene you had me at “much of the time, popularity is actually driven by great marketing and not actual greatness.” I also happen to like a number underrated artists, musicians, films and other work of art. I agree completely, blogging serves that purpose as well☺️😊

      4. Jolene says:

        Thanks for understanding and the chat. Do share with us your favourite things in due course. 😊

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