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Laramie Movie Scope: Border (Gräns)

A one-of-a-kind story of romantic outsiders

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 20, 2018 – This Swedish language film about a unique romance between two people who appear to be similar to each other, but quite different most other people, turns out to be a fantasy based on ancient Scandinavian myths.

Tina (played by Eva Melander in heavy makeup) is a police officer with the ability to literally sniff out criminals at a busy border checkpoint. She is seen sniffing out illegal liquor being carried into the country in a young man's luggage and another man carrying a phone with a memory card inside with pornographic images on it. This leads to a further investigation of a local child pornography ring.

Tina lives in the woods in a remote house with a housemate, Roland (Jörgen Thorsson) a dog breeder. She likes to roam the woods barefoot and swim naked in a remote pond. Wild animals seem to have no fear of her. A moose stands right next to her in one scene. In another scene, she senses the presence of unseen deer and stops her car to allow them to cross the road unharmed. Others in the car have no idea why she stopped, until they see the deer appear.

Tina looks like some images of ancient Neanderthal people who used to roam Europe. She has a heavy brow, thick lips, wide nose and coarse, thick hair. She is considered ugly by most people. One day, she checks the luggage of a strange traveler, called Vore (played by Eero Milonoff) who has the same kinds of facial structure and coarse hair that she has.

Tina seems to think she smells something on him, and orders a body cavity search. Her partner, who conducts the search, is amazed to find that Vore, who appears to be a male, has a vagina instead of a penis. He also has a strange scar on his lower back. Tina apologizes to Vore about the search, since nothing is found. Vore just smiles, and says it was no bother.

Tina encounters Vore again on another trip through her checkpoint. This time she asks where he is staying. She begins to wonder about Vore. Who is he? Where does he come from? What about the scar on his back, and why does she have a similar scar on her own back? Why does she feel herself drawn to Vore if he is really a woman?

Eventually, Tina and Vore are drawn together. She kicks Roland out of her house and invites Vore to stay with her at the same time she is involved in a child pornography investigation. The investigation started with her arrest of a man with pornographic materials on a phone memory card that she somehow sniffed out.

Things start out strange in this movie, and they get a lot stranger when Tina finds out the truth about Vore, and herself. The story enters the realm of Scandinavian mythology with stolen babies, changelings, and the like. There is a murder to shut up a witness. Tina confronts her father about her true parents and where they are buried. Tina has a difficult choice to make which will affect her own life, and Vore's as well.

Like most people who watch this film probably do, I took a look at photos of the actors to see what they looked like without all that makeup, and the transformation is remarkable. It is probably difficult to do much in the way of intricate facial expressions under all that makeup, so it makes the performances by Eva Melander and Eero Milonoff all that much more impressive. There is a sex scene between the two that is really far out. It is sort of like Klingon romance.

Love is like a primal force that cannot be denied in this movie, but it runs into conventional morality, and the law. Something has to give eventually in this unique story. There are a lot of twists in this story, including a big one at the end. I felt uncomfortable watching some scenes in this film, but ultimately, it is rewarding. In an era of so many sequels, remakes and derivative movies, it is nice to see one that is so original. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2018 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]