“The Worst Person In The World” brings a refreshingly modern twist to the seemingly outdated romantic film genre.
In director Joachim Trier’s latest film of his “Oslo Trilogy”, he brings audiences a strong character piece of one woman’s journey to find love and meaning while living in modern Oslo, Norway.
The film is broken down into twelve well-written chapters to chronicle the life of Julie (played by Renate Reinsve in her first leading role) over a four year period, as she navigates romance, careers, and the pressures of her 20s.
From the very start, the director transitions seamlessly into setting up the character, showing how she undergoes a period of extreme uncertainty in her life. She leaves medical school to pursue psychology, before then promptly deciding that she wants to be a photographer after scrolling through her phone camera roll late one night.
In a series of quick cuts accompanied by a third-person narrator, the audience sees Julie wander through different versions of her identity, changing her hair color several times and having brief, meaningless relationships with a variety of different men.
Most of the film, however, is focused on Julie during her time in two different relationships: first with Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), an older graphic novelist, and Eivind (Herbert Nordrum), a barista who she fatefully meets one night while crashing a wedding afterparty. At first, it may seem that this is a typical romantic plotline of a woman having to choose between two love interests. But, the director soon shows audiences that there is more than what meets the eye.
The film does what many others fail to do, capturing the full experience of being in your 20s and undergoing an identity crisis. The character of Julie feels very raw and real to watch, as she is not depicted in a way that is particularly glamorized. She is flaky and reckless at times, leading her to make some poor decisions and hurt those around her. However, there is a type of vulnerability to the way that Reinsve plays the character, which leaves audiences feeling connected to Julie throughout the viewing experience and even relating to some of the issues she encounters.
Throughout the film, Trier implements the use of unique camera shots and sound in many scenes to elevate what is occurring in the story. By doing so, it creates a viewing experience like you have never seen before.
One moment in particular where Trier’s direction shines through is a musical-inspired romantic sequence, where time freezes as Julie rushes to see Eivind after an emotional breakthrough about her current relationship. The incredible choreography and well-applied CGI in this scene helps to make it one of the most-talked about parts of the film.
In the end, “The Worst Person In The World” feels so much more than a story about love, but one that pays tribute to the universal experience of a lost generation.
“The Worst Person in The World” is now playing in select theaters.