Reprise, a film by Joachim Trier, is a poetic and peaceful film about the relationship between two young men, Erik and Philip, budding with the exuberance of youth. Reprise, a vibrant Norwegian film, burns with the passions of literature and youth. It’s a buddy film in the most basic sense which is devoid of any dishonest cinematic egoism. It is nowhere Bill and Ted though. The writer and the director have taken up a very heavy subject matter like love, obsession etc, but the movie is not a drag at all.
Erik and Philip are both young writers, with each of them having their debut book at the publisher’s desk. The story then takes a leap of six months and we are shown all reveries of the youth vanquished by reality. Philip has succumbed to mental illness while the dream of Erik to become the cult writer has crashed hard with his book. Reprise explores not just what happens to Phillip and Erik as they pick up the pieces but what might have happened to them, what they imagine could happen, what they fear will possibly happen and what they can’t see actually happening. Adroitly moving forward and backwards, the movie revolves around how they both arrived at this stage of their life. With rapid fire editing, a mix of dazzling flashbacks and philosophical voiceovers are what makes the movie most interesting.
An enthusiastic, exciting and playful testament to being young and hungry for life and meaning and immortality, and for other young and restless bodies — Reprise is a blast of pure movie pleasure. Trier cuts up his story and scribbles messages across images; his gang of friends meet in the pit of a sweat and spit-filled gig. The story is as much about the final cinders of those friendships as it is about art, love and mental illness.