Monday, May 10, 2010

Karla's World: Review

This could very well be my favorite film from the line up of the Nordic Film Festival.
Karla's World is about Karla, a 10 year old girl who has pretty hard life for a kid. Her parents are divorced, her mom married another guy whom she doesn't like, she has a new stepbrother who annoys her and her real father has a drinking problem. It's almost Christmas time and all Karla wants is to have her family together again but she doesn't get what she wants. So she runs away and spends the most extraordinary Christmas with the most unexpected people, who teaches Karla the values of life and the true meaning of Christmas and family.
Now I watched this movie after being visually assaulted by the madness that was Dead Snow and I was pretty tired at that point. But wow, Karla's World drew me in deep the moment the film began and 2 hours passed like nothing. Even my friend who thought Star Wars was just okay was truly moved by this movie so if that doesn't give enough praise to this film, I don't know what will.
First I gotta give it up to Elena Arndt-Jensen who plays Karla in the movie. I don't know what it is about child actors but they always shine when they are the ones carrying the weight of a film. She plays a little girl who has become hardened and matured beyond her age because of the trauma she has gone through with her family problems but deep down inside, she is still that little girl who just wants a perfect Christmas.
Elena is absolutely adorable as Karla, with the independence and feist of a young woman and the innocence of a child. She sort of reminds me of Mara Wilson from Matilda. Watch out for this one people! This girl is going to be big someday!
And it also helps that Elena has a wide range of colorful characters to play off of in the film. Especially the ones she meets during her time away from home. In the limited amount of screen time they had, they all gave volumes of depth and character and loads of heartfelt and laugh out loud moments.
But one particular character that absolutely steals the show is Buster, played by Kristian Halken. This dude is hella hilarious in every frame he's in. Somewhere during pre-production of the film, the writer must have went, "Hey! What if I took Mr. Krabs from Spongebob, Bumi from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Peter Capaldi from In The Loop... mash them into a character, and make that character an insane homeless man." But in all his crazy antics, it is his character that speaks the most truth about the world, which could make a few people uncomfortable since he's sharing all these intricate, mature knowledge to a 10 year old girl. But I digress, if I was ever to run away from home, even I'd spend Christmas with his crazy ass.
You know what? I think Karla's World is going into my Christmas movie list. It's heartwarming, it's funny, it's charming. The perfect Christmas film.

RATING: 9/10

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