Review: ‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman’ by

published 14 February 2013
written by

Four of our staff members had the opportunity to watch Rupert Grint in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman at the Berlinale Film Festival – not once, but twice. […]

Majbritt: So – did everyone enjoy the film? Were your expectations met?
Karo: Well, we knew very little about the film beforehand, so I personally didn’t even know what to expect. I think the clip that was released is pretty good in terms of representing the film.
Kathy: It’s funny, after watching it for the first time, I was really disapointed… not sure what I expected, maybe too much, but the second time I completely enjoyed it. And yes, the clip is a very good way to sum up the movie.
Malene: Perfect clip to introduce the film – it will be exciting to see how they’ll make the trailer look.
Majbritt: I completely agree. Both in terms of atmosphere and tempo. Oh, and the music! Sweet Moby, the music! I loved the film on the first night – but on the second night, I felt more “ready” to take in all the details – and it just made the film so much better
Karo: Yes, the music was totally awesome!
Majbritt: The music was absolutely heavenly
I want the music in my life now.
Karo: I think I had expected to see more of Rupert, because that’s what we’re used to – to have him in many of the scenes in a film. But that’s not the case with NDCC, and I think fans who expect to see a lot of Rupert might be disappointed.
Malene: Definitely – but I appreciated the film on its own. Rupert was just a major plus.
Majbritt: If we allow ourselves to be a little nerdy when it comes to the film – not only the soundtrack is amazing, but the editing is quite fantastic too. The way the images create feelings within you. Sometimes it’s high paced and other times, you feel time standing still. Beautiful. And I think you are right, Karo. But as Malene said – we need to see Rupert as an addition to a film which is already very good on its own. But fans do need to prepare themselves for a film where Rupert only plays a minimal – although hilarious – role.
Kathy: I guess the problem the whole time was that we didn’t know anything at all about his role. But still, it was nice to see him in a different light and it is a funny part… it really is!
Karo: Rupert himself said it’s a “tiny” (quote from interview) part, and he is right.
Malene: The official count is this – he is in 6 scenes (not counting the polaroid pictures we see of him and James beaten up) and he has 20 lines.
Kathy: but some good ones!!! πŸ˜‰
Majbritt: Not many lines – but as Kathy just said – they are so great!

Karo: So, what are your favourite scenes?
Kathy: I mean, didn’t we all just LOVE the scene with Shia, James and Til?
Majbritt: It depends – if we’re talking about Rupert (which we obviously are), I’d have to say the scene in the backroom of the “titty bar” with Shia, James, Rupert and Til.
Malene: My favourite scenes were Charlie on the plane after Victor has died, Charlie getting told to stand at “the fucking door” in the opera plus Charlie, Karl and Luc’s confrontation with Darko – or Dorko haha
Majbritt: But I also love the scene between Shia and “Victor” on the plane – it’s both funny and warm. Oooh, thank you Malene. The scene where Shia is told to stand at the door is absolutely HILARIOUS!
Malene: And the intense chase scene in the subway was beautiful I think.
Karo: Especially the ending, which we shouldn’t give away…
Majbritt: Agreed. The ending is very symbolic
Karo: I meant the ending of the subway chase. But yeah, the overall ending is very symbolic, and I really liked it.


Majbritt: I did too. What were your least favourite parts from the film – if any?
Karo: It’s a minor thing, but can I say Rupert’s hair? It was too close to the Ron-hair. I just don’t think a porn star would have hair like that.
Malene: Rupert’s hair is always important.
Majbritt: I didn’t have a problem with the hair – I prefer the new do, but dont mind the hair in the film. I dont think there’s a certain do which would fit porn stars more than others. I can’t imagine going to my hair dresser’s saying that I’d like my hair to look less/more like a porn star.
Kathy: As if someone would put his attention to the hair in a porn…
Majbritt: Then he must be doing something wrong, Kathy!
Karo: But Joseph Gordon-Levitt [in the film “Don Jon’s Addiction, which we saw the day before] has what I consider “porn hair”. Slicked back and all, you know.
Majbritt: haha… oh my… maybe you are right.
Karo: I just think a porn star would not wear his hair in such a natural way, but in a way that makes it look properly styled. Especially when coming home from a casting. And Rupert himself is great, it’s just the hairstyle I don’t feel suits the character.
Malene: This is something really small, but probably so intentional that it’s actually funny. Nigel’s butt-ugly shirts throughout the film. Especially the one with all the different coloured dachshunds. Horrible.
Karo: I loved the shirt because it’s so anti-scary!
Majbritt: Nigel’s shirts were awful – but it added a somewhat comical aspect to his tough demeanour.
Malene: They were distracting me from the sex-on-legs-person wearing them.
Majbritt: Word.
Kathy: It’s really hard to pick a bad scene… the whole movie happend so fast… even if there was a bad scene, you have no chance to think about it.. three more scenes already happend …
Majbritt: Normally, I am very sceptical when it comes to adding a narrator voice in films – but it completely worked in this one. It added an extra dimension.
Kathy: I could have lived with one or two less bloody scenes, but that is just my sensitive mind πŸ˜‰
Majbritt: Mads Mikkelsen should really be wearing better shirts – or none at all.
Karo: I guess it would have been nice to have more background to Nigel, Darko, Karl and Luc, and develop those more throughout the film.
Majbritt: I actually liked that the characters don’t necessarily develop much. Even Charlie stays the same (more or less) throughout his experiences
Karo: Not develop, just more background to them. Like, what exactly happened between Nigel and Darko
Majbritt: I understand. The background on the tape and what happened between them and Victor is very short-told
Karo: Exactly. And of course how Karl and Luc met, and what happened to them afterwards, but that’s another story altogether and deserves a sequel of its own. Or how Victor obtained the tape.
Kathy: Isn’t it obvious how they met? I just thought it’s the same like they met Charlie…
Majbritt: But going by Rupert – lets hope that Karl survived and got to realise his dream.
Karo: Well, I would have liked to see that. Karl introducing himself as an aspiring porn star.
Malene: I agree Kathy. We know Luc hs been there for some undecided time – a week, two weeks, a month, two months – and Karl has been there for 6 days.
Kathy: and already got a casting… busy guy^^
Majbritt: Maybe the porn business in Romania isnt too hard to make it in.

Malene: I loved how it was the small bizarre things that got the best and strongest reaction from the audience – like the eye in the urinal. It has no purpose, but it gives us a feeling how far gone Charlie is on drugs.
Karo: Oh god that was freaky!
Majbritt: Agreed. That was really creepy and very trippy
Kathy: I didn’t even notice it the first time!
Majbritt: It reminded me so much of Trainspotting
Kathy: But soooo cool πŸ™‚
Malene: But it got a great laugh from the audience. No one expected it.
Majbritt: There were quite a few of those moments. I loved that about the film.
Karo: Like Victor’s dribble on Charlie’s shirt.
Majbritt: Exactly
Malene: Also just how weirdly evil Nigel was – the way Charlie had to prove he really is a homosexual tuba player by making a puffy-fish-mouth. Sooo weird, but really funny.
Kathy: The kids helping Charlie with the car…


Majbritt: In my opinion, it also needs to be said that Shia LaBeouf did an incredible job as Charlie
Karo: I agree, I loved Shia in that role. I also loved Evan, who on the one hand looks like a doll that might break at any second, and then all toughed up pointing a gun at these dangerous people.
Malene: The first time we saw it Gabi actually annoyed me a lot. But the second time the character was alright – no idea what changed, but it was nice to like her πŸ˜‰
Majbritt: I know what you mean, Malene. I didn’t particular warm to her either during the first screening. Nothing to do with Evan’s portrayal of Gabi – but the character herself. I loved how Evan didn’t really look like herself in the role – neither did Shia, when thinking about it – but Evan just had this completely different feel to her. She WAS Gabi, just as much as Shia WAS Charlie.
Malene: It was also nice to see that not everything was perfect and pretty all the time. The characters were very raw – an example would be how the first time we see Gabi she has snot coming out of her nose the entire scene. Which is natural since she’s crying about her father’s death… but most movies would have the pretty girl look perfect and not real like she was.
Majbritt: You hit the nail on the head there. That is always something I love about independent films! It was so prominent in NDCC.
Karo: Most movies would have someone with an erection cover it, not show a closeup!
Majbritt: Also true. But that scene is so true to Karl’s character – and predicament – so it couldnt have been left out.
Malene: Rupert didn’t look perfect either – he is sweaty in almost all the scenes where we see him. Probably because he works out fully clothed – which was very unusual.
Karo: VERY.
Majbritt: Maybe he’s more “greasy” than sweaty? Being a proper backPACKER who doesn’t shower much
Karo: He better shower if he films porn… *imagine…*

Malene: Favourite Rupert lines? Him saying it’s like “Sophie’s Choice” in the titty bar – that got a lot of laughs.
Majbritt: Agreed. That was so funny. Not being able to read up one’s own arsehole.
Karo: There’s one line that goes almost missing because Luc is talking over it: “I don’t want to be a star, I want to act” I loved that one.
Majbritt: “It wouldn’t really make me remember” I remember that line – staring vs. acting – it was hilarious.
Karo: It not only suits Karl, but also Rupert.
Malene: Yeah, he wasn’t trying to become a porn star, but an actor. Really funny. It’s also really weird that out of the 4 official stills that we have from the film, only one is actually in the film. The one where they’re sitting against the red wall – which is also the very last scene in the film. Finally splitting that kebab.
Majbritt: I’d actually say that most of the times, it weren’t just a matter of Rupert’s lines being funny – it was much more a matter of his presence in the film. The role he plays and the interaction with James and Shia.
Malene: It was so obvious in the scene where they’re getting high that it was Rupert smiling and laughing and not Karl. It must have been a fun scene to film… also with all them naked ladies all around them.
Majbritt: Unless it was done with a green screen. πŸ˜‰
Kathy: Well, which bloke wouldn’t have? πŸ˜‰ … Did anyone else think about Cherrybomb at the first scene of NDCC? Or maybe not scene, more the first thing we see.
Majbritt: I’d actually think that many people would see a few comparisons to Cherrybomb. It has the same feel to it at times, I think. It’s not similar to Cherrybomb, necessarily. But there’s something there. Maybe it’s how the music plays a vital part in it?
Karo: The drugs, the blood, the music. But Cherrybomb is much brighter – both in colours and topics.
Majbritt: Agreed. They are two very different films – there are just something about them that seem to be similar
Karo: I still think it’s very different. Cherrybomb showed the characters on drugs, but NDCC shows how they have hallucinations etc. So there is a difference.
Majbritt: Charlie: “Are you in the zone also? Of individuality” Nigel: “Sure”
Malene: I thought about Cherrybomb when Karl makes a very specific face when he’s getting the lap dance and being touched all over. He made a very similar face in a scene with Kimberley (Nixon).
Karo: Are you saying this is Rupert’s face when he cums???
Malene: No. I’m saying it’s Karl and Malachy’s face… just a strange coincidence that it looks the same πŸ˜‰
Majbritt: Riiiiiiiight…


Malene: Another random thought: Nigel was actually a bit hard to understand in my opinion. Maybe he just talked really fast or something… and he swears A LOT!!
Majbritt: I’m not sure what Mads was doing with his dialect, because that’s not his normal English voice. If that makes sense. But it’s true – he can insert swear words when none is needed or even possible. But I liked it.
Karo: Nigels swears the most, I think. And I have to say, I love the way the story of Gabi and Nigel is told. All in soft colours, and how they got together is really like a story any girl would dream of.
Majbritt: The film tells two fairy tales
Karo: And the scene on the roof… beautiful
Kathy: that’s a VERY romantic way of seeing their story^^
Majbritt: Charlie and Gabi vs. Nigel and Gabi… But what does this tell us about fairy tales? They dont always turn out how you’d like them to.
Malene: Yeah, it would be the perfect love story if he wasn’t evil and killed people etc.
Karo: Exactly.
Majbritt: It’s minor details, Malene. Everyone needs to compromise
Karo: A compromise would be to marry a porn star… πŸ˜›
Kathy: well, we all have a bad habit, dont we?
Majbritt: Exactly, Kathy.
Karo: Killing isn’t a habit though, is it? Or shouldn’t be.
Majbritt: It can be
Kathy: it’s his job… everyone needs to pay his rents…
Majbritt: If he was only paid – we never really know, do we? Maybe it’s just his hobby.

Malene: This film is also a great warning for tourists – Romanian beers are “weird as shit” haha
Majbritt: Haha – although, to be fair to Romanian beer… they did spike it with ecstacy.
Karo: As is Carpatian Ecstasy.
Majbritt: The warning should be more in the direction of how the police works or how the ambulance drivers are high as kites. A small thing which seems to hold a lot of meaning throughout the film is the narrator saying (in the beginning) that like any other great story, it starts with a goodbye. I don’t know why it holds such a significance (or maybe I do, but wont reveal it here) – but it’s actually kind of beautiful.
Karo: Making a mental quick browse, I have to agree with most of my favourite stories.
Majbritt: Exactly
Malene: Well, it is very true for both Charlie and Gabi. I thought it was really emotional how they both got rid of their bad memories and only thought of the beautiful ones of their parents. It almost made me cry the second time I saw it – especially Charlie sitting on the hospital floor and just breaking down because his mom was leaving him. (And I almost NEVER cry because of films).
Majbritt: It was a very touching scene at the hospital. It moved me too.
Malene: Shia played it so well.
Majbritt: Oh my. Yes!
Karo: I agree, that was a really great part. Well played by both, and the thought behind it really is wonderful.
Kathy: I liked the actress playing his mum (Melissa Leo), I’ve never seen her before… but she just gave you such a good felling, like death isn’t the end… She definitely was a A+ ,)
Malene: Melisso Leo – yeah, she was great as well. So hippie and cute. Definitely A+
Karo: Yes, she was so… light? free? liberated? It suited a person who – as her partner says “is ready”.
Malene: “When I said: go to Bucharest, I actually meant Budapest. Typical me” – haha
Kathy: well discribed Karo πŸ™‚
Majbritt: Melissa Leo is always amazing.


Karo: Well, now that we’ve seen it twice, would you stick with your one-word-review from right afte the first screening?
Malene: Awesome Luc quote: “If I can’t travel freely with my drugs, then the terrorists have won.”
Majbritt: Haha – so funny, Malene. And I would still say “haunting”, yes
Malene: I would probably change mine to: “Raw”
Majbritt: Nice one, Malene.
Karo: beautiful to raw, quite a change!
Majbritt: Not necessarily. I see those two words as the same when it comes to a REALLY good film.
Malene: No, it was the rawness that I thought was beautiful. I just think it describes it better in terms of the characters and the style.
Majbritt: If the film wasn’t haunting – I wouldn’t be dying to see it again. How about you?
Kathy: I guess I change to unexpected…. in a good way, after watching it a second time
Majbritt: Unexpected is good πŸ™‚
Malene: It’s also funny in the most unexpected places
Karo: I’ll switch from bloody (well, it was, but actually only two people lose blood) to straightforward.
Majbritt: So to sum up – RAW * HAUNTING * UNEXPECTED * STRAIGHTFORWARD. Not bad for The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, I’d say. And all of this with a twist of intelligent and well-placed humour!
Karo: Not really. So, altogether, what are we giving it?
Majbritt: I’d personally give it 5 out of 5 Romanian viagras
Kathy: I take that!!!
Majbritt: Don’t, Kathy. πŸ˜‰
Karo: Kathy takes Viagra?! 0.0
Malene: No, you really shouldn’t… didn’t you see the film???
Majbritt: HAHA
Malene: I will give Shia 5/5 Romanian Viagras, the music 5/5 Romanian Viagras, and the entire film 4/5 Romanian Viagras.
Majbritt: Very diplomatic, Malene – when put like that, I agree. But I’m rounding up the entire experience to 5
Karo: I’ll give it an A-, because I would have liked to prefer more background to the baddies, and because of Rupert’s hair. So, 4 1/2 Viagra from me.
Kathy: 4 viagras … music and style is five… story could have been a little bit deeper
Kathy: but humor was six πŸ˜‰
Karo: So, 4+4+4 1/2+5 = 17,5 Viagras. That’s three times as many as Karl took
Majbritt: 4,375 Viagras then. Our final judgment.
Karo: That’s good.
Malene: Sounds right. I would definitely recommend it to everyone I know.
Majbritt: One thing should be said in the end, though: WATCH IT!

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