Off Track: A Non-Spoiler Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Poster for the film Off Track (2022)

🇸🇪 OFF TRACK 🇸🇪

Off Track aka Ur Spår (2022) is a Swedish feature film available on Netflix. Labelled as a comedy on IMDb. 1 hour 48 minutes. In Swedish with English subtitles, also closed captioning and dubbing. Rated 15 U.K.

Premise:

“A mid-age hipster in Stockholm is a training freak and trains for the 90 km ski race Vasaloppet. His sister is the opposite, no job, drinks but has a daughter. Suddenly secrets reveals and promises are made.” IMDb

Cast:

Katia Winter as Lisa
Fredrik Hallgren as Daniel
Mårten Klingberg as Niklas
Ulf Stenberg as Anders
Leif Andrée as Taxi Driver
Tuva Børgedotter Larsen as Naomi
Kelly Flogell as Elvira

Crew:

Writer: Maria Karlsson
Director: Mårten Klingberg
Composer: Andreas Tengblad
Cinematographer: Calle Persson
Editor: Sofia Lindgren
Stunt Coordinator: Martin Zetterlund

Notes:

About the Vasaloppet:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasaloppet

Locations:

Luleå, Norrbottens Iän, Sweden

Review:

I’ve skied a lot, not the cross-country skiing as featured in this film but I’m well acquainted with all the trials and tribulations and frequent hilarious moments surrounding learning how to ski. I’ve got offspring who started learning to ski when they were small who now comfortably ski past me, sometimes intentionally going backwards (be assured the only skiing backwards I have ever managed was always purely accidental). I also know just how much training and dedication goes into competing in the specific event that is featured in this film…

I love a good rom-com, although I admit that I prefer shows with strong rom-com elements to outright rom-com films. So perhaps that might be one reason why this film didn’t work for me.

The basic premise is fine, and of course, I fully expected a happy ever after, but unfortunately, the “magic wand” that waved over parts of this story and its conclusion was an issue for me. Picking just one element to focus on, the highly sensitive subject of infertility, miscarriage and IVF etc.

As a positive I thought all the acting in this was great although some of the characters that I think I was supposed to empathise with (was I? Still not sure) I just couldn’t (I didn’t care what happened to a lot of them). I didn’t feel much chemistry between the romantic leads.

Ah humour, it’s a funny thing isn’t it, and of course a social construct. I did laugh out loud at the Norwegian winning the race in an inhuman time gag (you do have to be familiar with Norway, Norwegians and cross-country skiing for this to work).

What makes something funny? That’s a tricky one, isn’t it? For everyone I know who is an experienced skier an adult skiing into a child is really not a thing that makes any of us laugh. Maybe Swedes are different? What is funny is an adult learning to ski, falling over and then being approached by a small kid who asks them if they are okay and who then proceeds to help them get back up again.

What is also full of comedic potential is the actual learning how to ski with all the falling over when standing perfectly still, not being able to stop, accidentally going backwards (remember my note from earlier?), losing poles as you ski along so you have to walk all the way back to get them, having to go for a wee, taking off your skis, sinking into deep snow, eventually finding a tree to have your, by now, desperate wee only to realise afterwards that there’s a chairlift going overhead… See, loads of potential (please note I have not done all of these, honestly)!

Participating in this event takes a lot of training which I felt was skimmed over which is a shame because it’s also full of comedic (and romantic) potential. I loved that it was inclusive of a wide range of ages, although even that went a bit slushy in the story.

I really liked the direction, cinematography and music in Off Track. And the sweaters. The sweaters were great.

Overall though I was quite disappointed in Off Track. It wasn’t terribly romantic (nothing to make me do that “Good Lord this is SO romantic!) nor was it very funny, except for the Norwegian joke, that was funny. I’m sure there will be many who enjoyed this film, sadly I’m not one of them.

Trailer (no English subtitles):

More Swedish Films:

https://reel2reeltalk.com/category/film/swedish-films/

For those who are fans of Nordic/Scandi TV shows and films there is a great affiliated Facebook Page:

https://m.facebook.com/manvelovTheofficialfanpage/

This online publication also has its own Facebook Page with a wide variety of content: 

https://m.facebook.com/reel2reeltalk/

Also on Facebook is the group More Than Only Walter Presents which has its focus firmly on non-English language TV shows, films, dramas and documentaries: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/218639287110920/

More TV Reviews: 

https://reel2reeltalk.com/category/tv/

More Non-Spoiler Reviews: 

https://reel2reeltalk.com/category/non-spoiler-reviews/

More Spoiler Reviews: 

https://reel2reeltalk.com/category/spoiler-reviews/

More Film Reviews:

https://reel2reeltalk.com/category/film/

Thanks for reading this article, please feel free to comment