When someone is terminally ill, not even the best doctors in the world can pull a miracle treatment out of the hat and magically heal the person in question. Therefore, with the certain knowledge that the short bit of road left can only go in one direction, a difficult, almost incomprehensibly bleak question emerges: how can one come to terms with this realisation, and what can be done in order to make the most of the time left in this world? This is a question which Elias is faced with on his last day of work as a clown in children’s hospital. Despite doing a wonderful job and cheering up countless children in difficulty, the hospital board decides to replace him with someone younger, and in theory more prone to understand the latest generations. However, things which look swell on paper don’t always turn up to be the best of ideas in practice. Elias is tasked with an impossible mission: cheering up a girl suffering from cancer, in a terminal phase. Thus, putting on his red nose for one last time, Elias briefly talks to the girl’s father and then does his best to allay his daughter’s suffering. However, the moment he meets the girl’s desperate mother, Stine, Elias understands the monumental task which lays before him, one which would be deeply rooted in his troubled past, something that he had been running away from for a long time.
‘Behold, Such Clown’, the short film written and directed by Danish filmmaker Jacob Pilgaard, tells a beautiful and heart-breaking story about love, regret and redemption. We come to realise that the line between life and death is indeed a very thin one, and that every moment spent alive is one to be cherished. The array of intense feelings deeply embedded within the movie’s essence are not at all artificial, nor do they cross the boundary into cheesiness: each and every scene exhibits haunting sincerity and delivers one beautiful moment after another.
The acting is equally sincere, and all the actors portray their characters with the utmost conviction, the highlights being Tommy Kenter as Elias and Anne Reumert as Stine. Each and every scene contributes with something to the overall impact of the project, and they succeed one another with sublime good taste; from the quality of the cinematography to professional editing and an astute direction, the film represents a thoroughly solid job in every respect.
‘Behold, Such Clown’ is the rare kind of film that restores our faith in filmmaking, and in the conviction that magic that can still be placed within a simple and sincere narrative. The 25 minutes it offers are 25 minutes that everyone should take away from their daily routine and allocate to watching this wonderful film. We recommend this one with all our heart.
For its touching sensibility and ability to stir up a complex array of emotions despite its apparent simplicity, ‘Behold, Such Clown’ has been awarded 1st place for Best Film of July 2017 by The Monthly Film Festival.