The Unthinkable Was not the strongest Fantastic Fest opener I’ve seen and was slightly grueling in its pace and never quite got there for me. I’m sure there are plenty of folks who will love it though. With a film boasting a whopping five director collective, you would either think, Either there is going to be too many cooks or a brilliantly balanced film? Well I think the former may have rung true. It was tough for The Unthinkable to commit fully to one type of film. Again, that’s alright, but I wanted to see more focus on the disaster aspect or the shrouded conspiracies, paranoia, and self-doubt rather than sprinkled melodrama and a fragmented love story.
Alex is a mopey teen in love with Sara, a very sweet girl. The two share a passion for each other and playing piano. Early on Alex is described by his antagonistic and demeaning father, Bjorn, as “spoilt”. This branding perhaps sets the tone for the rest of the film whenever Alex is involved. Alex obviously has a tumultuous relationship with Bjorn, who probably suffers from some sort of PTSD after his time in the service. Mom leaves Alex with Bjorn as she can no longer stay in the relationship and then Alex decides to leave Bjorn, Sara, and his old life behind entirely. Cut to some years later when Alex is an adult and a professional pianist. He’s maybe even more mopey than ever and has seen success which makes it even worse adding arrogance to the list. After a mysterious and unprecedented bomb attack, Alex finds out that his mother was on the bridge that was blown up and was killed. Alex travels back to his hometown to attend the funeral. This is when things finally start to pick up. Bjorn, more paranoid than ever, suspects that something is rotten in Denmark, err Sweden when he is attacked by a man who is trespassing near Bjorn’s fortified home. Bjorn wakes up after being hit with a shovel, holes up in the power station bunker he works at, and sets some traps a la Kevin McAllister (just imagine much more violent delights). So when the local townspeople start acting fuzzy and crashing cars into each other, the calamity finally consumes the rest of the film and we are left with the question of who is attacking these townsfolk and why?
Sweden and disaster don’t really go hand and hand in my mind. Sweden and hostile takeovers also don’t resonate. Why would any other Country have a problem with Sweden and try to take it over? Questions we don’t really get answers to in the end. The social commentary and parallels to what is currently going on this country with perceived fear and lack of tolerance is interesting to see from this perspective. I know Sweden has tightened their borders in the last few years. When I think of Sweden I think of an informed culture full of rich history and respectful ways, minus those pirate raiding days! Must be the allure of the strong cheekbones.