The Danish Girl review
written by Souranath Banerjee
Only such powerful acting could hold the film together with enough distinction.
My Ratings: 3.8/5.
Loosely based on the lives of Danish couple Einar and Gerda Wegener, but essentially the film is inspired by the real story of Einar Wegener’s transformation into Lili Elbe, undergoing a sex reassignment surgery to physically transform from a man to a woman (one of the first in the history of sex-change operations).
The experiences of such a radical and innovative journey as a transgender pioneer is well documented in Lili Elbe’s autobiography “Man into Woman” which was published in 1933, an inspiration to the transgender movement till date.
The Danish Girl starts of by introducing us to the Wegener couple, both young artists with a pretty regular love life but soon things take a turn when Einar develops a fascination for the delicate ladies garments and cosmetics and fancies himself as a girl, playfully dressing himself up as Lili (a fictitious character).
And soon enough, to an utter surprise to his wife Gerda, Einar has a sudden urge to change his sexual orientation and reveals that he actually wants to be Lili in her real life; he claims that he seems to be a women trapped in a man’s body!
So many years back then, such a concept was indeed a novelty and was of course resisted and condemned by many but Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe was one lucky person to finally had her wish fulfilled. But then again she had to pay a heavy price for her sexual freedom.
Honestly for me, if it wasn’t because of the brilliance of the actors like Eddie Redmayne (Oscar winner for The Theory of Everything), Alicia Vikander (popular for her part in Ex Machina) and Matthias Schoenaerts (famous for his role in Rust and Bone), the film would not have been half as interesting as it is now; and so the casting director Nina Gold also needs a special mention here.
And thanks to cinematographer Danny Cohen for the overall look and feel of the film.
The Danish Girl is an important tale that needs to be told but somehow 2 hours of screen time made it a bit too lengthy compared to its content material.
Though surely worth a watch.
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com