“Like It Never Was Before” – Chris Luedtke

A simple man named Rune Runeberg (Loa Falkman) leads a simple life with a simple family. During a simple family vacation Rune meets a not-so-simple aspiring magician working at their resort named Petrus (Simon Norrthon) who suddenly complicates Rune’s simple ways.


The plot for Like It Never Was Before isn’t complex but it doesn’t try to be. It starts off simple enough setting up a dissolve between Rune and his wife Gunnel (Stina Ekblad). The family takes a vacation with Rune hoping that it will help rekindle what he has with Gunnel. Fast forward, Rune meets Petrus and everything in Rune’s life changes. I wish it had more to it than that but it doesn’t. Still what it does it does well with its point A to point B storytelling techniques.


As far as the character designs go, Rune is clearly made out to be an obvious optimist push over making his character easily impressionable. I even brought into question a few times in the beginning if this guy could ever think for himself. Gunnel is pushy and no clearly longer in love with Rune but obviously sticking out the marriage for the children. Petrus is the “different one” in the story that corrupts Rune by performs magic tricks and introducing different ways capture the heart of Rune and change his life. The characters aren’t all that original and with the life that is led by Rune, it’s easy to see why he’d want a change.


The camera work is pretty grainy and was probably shot on a 35mm. This film was obviously shot on a low budget but that should be obvious just from the look of the box. Only a few scenes really caught my attention, mostly the scene where Rune caught Petrus swimming during a storm. Another notable camera shot is at the end where Petrus is hiding among a cliff wall. Other than this, pretty standard. I should note that the entire movie is very gray and I found this to help capture the often gloomy atmosphere of Rune’s family and life.


Like It Never Was Before is probably the perfect title for this because it summarizes the movie in exactly one sentence. It was a feel good flick I just find it unfortunately I have seen movies like this before. I think that director Susanne Bier probably could have done something more with it but at the same time I don’t want to complain too much about it because I’m content with the outcome. It’s hard to say anything bad about this movie because there really isn’t anything terrible about it, it just really lacks in the originality department. Characters probably could have use a little bit of an overhaul to give them some more depth and make some of the story less predictable. The ending was good to further prove my point on Rune.


Those looking for originality will probably find themselves sighing at the predictability of this one but if you’re in the mood for a movie that’s going to make you feel good and break your heart a little at the same time do check this out. It’s not bad but it’s not extraordinary.


Rating: ★★½☆


-Chris Luedtke

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