Something Must Break – Movie Review by Frank L.
Director: Ester Martin Bergsmark
Writers: Eli Levén (screenplay), Ester Martin Bergsmark (screenplay)
Stars: Saga Becker, Iggy Malmborg, Shima Niavarani
In Sweden Ester Martin Bergsmark was only able to add the name “Ester” to his name in 2009. Sexual identity lies at the centre of this story. Sebastian (Saga Becker) is an androgynous young man who shares an apartment with an interesting flatmate and works an uninspiring job moving stuff around a warehouse. By chance in a public lavatory, he is rescued by a handsome black, leather jacketed Andreas (Iggy Malmborg) after having been attacked. Again by chance shortly afterwards they meet again. They have a mutual attraction. They have sex. Andreas asserts that he is not gay but he is fascinated by Sebastian. In fact Sebastian longs to be a “superwoman” Ellie. Their lives become intertwined notwithstanding Iggy’s assertion.
There are also a collection of characters who are straight and friends of Iggy. One in particular looks as if he was going to be of particular interest but his character is sadly never developed. His fate is similar to Sebastian’s flatmate whose character is also not developed. What you are left with are the two principal characters and just because each of them has unusual sexual tastes it does not necessarily make their liaison that interesting. Undoubtedly Sebastian is magnificently androgynous at the beginning. As Ellie, he looks fantastic in a simple but expensive dress which Iggy and herself Ellie knick in a smart little boutique. However the various parts of the story simply do not appear to hang together.
What undoubtedly is in the movie’s favour is a rawness and directness in the acts of sexual intimacy between Sebastian and Iggy. There are no convenient folds of towels, sheets or other material hiding their sexual organs. It has a realism which is unfamiliar to a Hollywood film. I suspect that the issues surrounding transgender are a fertile ground for a movie given the complexities that are likely to be encountered with so called “normal” friends. However while “Something must break” gives some inkling as to what those complexities might possibly be the story as told fails to enlighten as to how the subsidiary characters react to the issues which faces Ellie and to a certain extent Andreas. Undoubtedly the subject matter is ambitious but disappointingly the film fails to match that ambition.