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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "30 Degrees in February" )

 

directed by Beata Gårdeler, Peter Schildt, Andrea Östlund, Emiliano Goessens
Sweden 2012

 

Marketed in the UK as another "Nordic Noir" series, 30˚ IN FEBRUARY is not a thriller along the lines of THE KILLING or UNIT ONE, or a labyrinthine story of family intrigues like LEGACY but it does qualify as noir-ish in its four interconnected stories of characters naively placing all of their hopes and dreams on a desperate stab at happiness. Two characters are looking for new beginnings while three others are trying to recreate/recapture an idyllic image of the past. Having cared for her emotionally abusive, wheelchair-bound pilot ex-husband Bengt (Kjell Bergqvist, EVIL) for thirty five years (after he left her and fathered a child with a busty stewardess before becoming ill), gratitude is the last thing long-suffering Majlis (Lotta Tejle, THE SANDHAMN MURDERS) gets when she books them a February trip to Phuket, Thailand to avoid his getting sick in the winter. When divemaster Sara (Rebecka Hemse) convinces her to do a free scuba-diving trial, she sees the possibility of becoming a divemaster herself to be a new chance at life. When Bengt moves up their return date, Majlis goes to drastic extremes in order to stay. When Bengt fails to return to Sweden, his son (Björn Bengtsson) comes looking for him, his inherited temper simultaneously points suspicion to Majlis while alienating the local police force but Sara is closer to the truth than Majlis realizes.

Although his dating profile picture looks like George Clooney, overweight, thirty-eight year old central heating installer Glenn (Kjell Wilhelmsen) wants to have a family (feeling like he can do better than his father and grandfather who both shot themselves). Reasoning that his wife does not have to love him or even like him to give him children, he heads to Thailand to propose to a bartender he met online. Despite seeming to know that flashing around cash and giving out loans will make him more attractive, he walks straight into a con job and attempts to follow in his father's footsteps but is rescued from the brink of despair by "no happy ending" masseuse Oh (Djuangjai Hirunsri). Keeping her identity as a kathoey (or "ladyboy") from Glenn – a source of both amusement and misapprehension for her Swedish lover Johnny (Torkel Petersson, PATRICK, AGE 1.5) – she instead encourages his interest in her sister Dit (Sumontha Sounpolrarat), a single mother who lives with her parents (Panjai Chalermwong and Krekkiat Punpiput) and son (Nattawat Thepthongkun) in the countryside but travels to the city during the week to work as a hotel maid. Forthright about his desire to have a family, he makes Dit feel like a breeding mare and it is up to Oh to make sure he makes a better second impression on her and their parents (from whom Oh is estranged). As Oh advises him in his courting of her sister, she starts to fall for him and see him as something other than a cash cow; but she cannot give him the family he wants and the security of her own family is at stake.

After suffering a sudden stroke, workaholic architect Kajsa (Maria Lundqvist, MOTHER OF MINE) is frustrated with her slow rehabilitation. Finding momentary comfort with her teenage daughter Joy (Hanna Ardéhn) and younger Wilda (Viola Weidemann) in films of their vacation in Thailand four years prior at an island bungalow hotel called Happiness, Kajsa decides that they should drop Stockholm for a return trip to the island. When they discover that the owner has left and the bungalows are derelict, Kajsa decides to "buy Happiness" and restore it (despite Joy's worries about her having another stroke). Also happening to return to Thailand from Sweden after a long absence is homesick former owner Chan (Thomas Chaanhing, LFO) who wants to rebuild his family. Dragging his addict son Pong (Sanong Sudla) to the local monastery, he promises both his son and estranged wife (Chutikarn Promsakul) that things can be like they once were when he buys back Happiness. Feeling renewed by the work she is doing on the bungalows, Kajsa refuses Chan's offer to buy it back. When Chan buys the next plot over and begins building a competing resort, seeming accidents and pranks escalate to an all-out war that has Joy and Pong caught in the crossfire and Wilda taking literally some of Kajsa's venting with disastrous results. The desperate acts of all of these characters to find happiness may be meaningless when a torrential tropical storm hits the mainland and scatters their estranged loved ones even further apart. Not all of the endings will be happy, but those that are will have been hard won and require compromise if not sacrifice.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 6 February 2012 - 9 April 2012 (Swedish TV)

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DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 9:12:08 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.28 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Swedish/Thai/English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Disc One:
� Episodes 1-3 (16:9; 2:47:22)

� Start-up Trailers
� Disc Two:
� Episodes 4-5 (16:9; 1:51:18)

� Disc Three:
� Episodes 6-8 (16:9; 2:45:08)

� Disc Four:
� Episodes 9-10 (16:9; 1:48:20)

DVD Release Date: July 6th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 60

 

 

 

Comments

Arrow spreads the ten episodes of this engrossing show over two dual layer DVDs (three episodes each) and two single layer ones (two episodes each). Although the settings (particularly the underwater scuba scenes) cry out for HD, the crisp and colorful standard def presentation is sufficient and the 5.1 track well-used throughout. The optional English subtitles not only cover the Swedish and Thai dialogue but also some of the thicker accented English language exchanges. There are no extras apart from start-up trailers on the first disc.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




 

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