Re:View – ‘The Door’

The Arts

No-one does looking knackered quite like Mads Mikkelsen. He always looks beaten, battered and miserable. Sometimes he has an eye missing. But for once Mads starts out with all his bits and bobs in this excellent time travel tale. Playing out like a bigger, better ‘Timecrimes’ (with which it would make a good double bill) Mads is a successful artist who paints surreally cruel paintings of his adoring wife and daughter. It’s symptomatic of the way he dismissively uses his family.

Mads takes his eye off the ball while bonking his dangerously clingy neighbour and allows his little girl to drown in the pool. His wife, understandably, never forgives him and, five years later, Mads’ life is a guilt-ridden hell. Until he stumbles on the door – a gateway back to that defining moment of his life.

Stepping through, Mads rewrites history, saving his daughter – but the original him is still there and a liability. After an encounter goes wrong, his earlier self ends up dead and Mads has to impersonate himself. But he’s five years older, wiser and going grey. And his astute daughter now says ‘You’re not my daddy’.

That’s just the start of his problems. Pretty soon he discovers that you can’t go back without upsetting the Twilight Zone applecart very badly indeed. This is intelligent time-paradox twisting to make points about life and love, and the importance of being happy in the present. And, true to form, Mikkelsen looks utterly shattered by the time it’s over.