Reprise (2006) ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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Montage of scene from Reprise


Reprise (2006) is a Norwegian feature film directed by Joachim Trier. Netflix UK, SBS On Demand Aus. 1 hr 42 min. Norwegian with English subtitles.


“Two competitive friends, fueled by literary aspirations and youthful exuberance, endure the pangs of love, depression and burgeoning careers.” IMDb


Anders Danielsen Lie as Phillip
Espen Klouman Høiner as Erik
Viktoria Winge as Kari
Odd-Magnus Willianson as Morten
PĂĄl Stokka as Geir
Christian Rubeck as Lars
Henrik Elvestad as Henning
Henrik Mestad as Jan Eivind
Rebekka Karijord as Johanne
Sigmund Sæverud as Sten Egil Dahl
Thorbjørn Harr as Mathis Wergeland


Director: Joachim Trier
Writers: Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt
Cinematographer: Jakob Ihre
Composers: Ola Fløttum & Knut Schreiner
Editor: Olivier Bugge Coutté

Poster for the film Revenge (2006)


Reprise was written over five years. It is Trier’s first feature-length film and the first, along with Oslo, August 31st (2011) and The Worst Person in the World (2021), in the director’s “Oslo Trilogy.” It was the Norwegian submission for Academy Award for Best Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

In 2021, Esgil Vogt had two films at the Cannes Film Festival. The Innocents competed in the Un Certain Regard category while The Worst Person in the World (with Joachim Trier) competed for the Palme d’Or.

Jakob Ihre was the Cinematographer on Chernobyl.

Ola Fløttum is also the composer for The Worst Person in the World and Generation Utøya. Knut Schreiner wrote a song for Sons of Anarchy.

Olivier Bugge Coutté has been an editor on many films and series such as The Worst Person in the World, The Good Traitor, The Idealist and Arn: The Knight Templar.

Scene from Reprise with Anders Danielsen Lie as Phillip (left) and Espen Klouman Høiner as Erik (right)


There will be those reading this review of Reprise who have watched it already and those who have not. Regardless of which category you find yourself in, I aim to give thoughts and some insights into this film.

As a debut feature film, this is outstanding. That is not to say it is faultless however it is very impressive. From its narrative structure and dialogue to the director’s “eye” and cinematography through to the use of music.

The first thing to point out is that Reprise does not have a linear storyline. There are flashbacks but also it plays around with “what could or should have been”. The film is bookended by these slightly separate narratives.

Reprise is also a youthful film, not so much in the sense that it is aimed at a “youth” audience but more that it looks at the young (in this case early 20-year-olds) and the opportunities, trials and tribulations they face. These are still completely relatable to those who are much older (perhaps even more so as we look back upon our own lives and their twists and turns with a degree of perspective).

Anders Danielsen Lie as Phillip (left) with Viktoria Winge as Kari (right) in a scene from Reprise

Love is one of the themes of this movie: first love, obsessive love, self-adoration, the love of friends. We have one character for example whose psychosis is set off by an obsessive first love, a love he tries to recapture (literally reenact) later on.

Viktoria Winge as Kari in a scene from Reprise

Memory, the very idea of memory, is played around with a lot in this film. From different characters’ recalling of the same events to, as just mentioned, a complete reenactment of falling in love for the first time.

Another theme is that of ambition and how it can drive a person in their chosen career or vocation. In this particular case, the two main characters are writers. One of these gains success very early on in their career (perhaps too early) while the other has a later achievement. Confident at first we see him struggle with self-doubt and falling back upon external “reasons” as to why they cannot repeat the exercise. He leads a solitary life as a result.

Being successful at a young age, being less successful and why a writer writes (which applies to all creatives) or finds they cannot write is also woven throughout this movie. The idea that ambition per se can be destructive but also that it tends to have a continually moving “finish line” is explored well in this film. Success can be a curse as well as a blessing.

Anders Danielsen Lie as Phillip in a scene from Reprise

Another important feature is the intimate study of mental illness which is shown.

Identity, how we portray ourselves, how we are perceived by others, finding out who we really are (sometimes by someone telling us uncomfortable home truths) is another important facet of this film. This is also part and parcel of who and what influences us, such as the writer we admire, or in the case of one young man an obsession with watching pornography which for a time cripples the way he looks at the world and more specifically women.

Validation from others is also another idea which is touched upon, how one person’s view of your work can mean so much more than another’s and that the truth, despite it being painful (and subjective in this case) sometimes needs to be told and not sweetened to make it more palatable.

Reprise has a lot of tension in parts and there is a use of a countdown with anticipated actions/repercussions which is quite nerve-shredding.

The images and photography in this film are outstanding and these combined with the music are very emotionally affecting.

These combine with the performances in this film which are outstanding, especially from what is a mostly young cast. The two central performances are quite spellbinding.

I really like the way that Reprise uses what is quite a literary tone throughout much of the story. We listen to a clear narrative voice which “explains” things to us. This is not necessarily a reliable narrator though, just bear that in mind.

Reprise was, for me, an enthralling watch but I can see how it might be a bit “Marmite”. It is somewhat “arthouse” and raw with flashbacks and what/ifs that could throw a viewer. Overall it is a very good, thought-provoking and original film and a very impressive first feature from Joachim Trier.


16 wins and 16 nominations

Wins include:
Amanda Awards, Norway (2007) Best Film ~ Karin Julsrud; Best Direction ~ Joachim Trier; Best Screenplay ~ Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier
Angers European First Film Festival (2007) Best Soundtrack/Music ~ Ola Fløttum
Festival del Cinema Europeo (2007) Golden Olive Tree Competition ~ Joachim Trier
Istanbul International Film Festival (2007) Golden Tulip Best Film ~ Joachim Trier
Kosmorana Trondheim International Film Festival (2007) Best Director ~ Joachim Trier; Best Editing ~ Olivier Bugge Coutté;
Toronto International Film Festival (2006) Discovery Award ~ Joachim Trier


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