runs after

After the Wedding

After the Wedding (Efter brylluppet) is a Danish movie released in 2006. The film is directed by Susanne Bier and stars Mads Mikkelsen and Sidse Babett Knudsen. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but lost out to The Lives of Others.

The film premiered in Denmark on 24 February, 2006. The film had its North American premiere as a gala at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival on September 15, 2006. The film opened in wide release in the United Kingdom on 9 March, 2007. It opened in limited release in the United States on March 30, 2007.


Jacob Pederson manages an Indian orphanage. With a small staff, he works as hard as he can to keep the orphanage afloat, and is personally invested in the young charges - in particular, Pramod, a young boy Jacob has cared for since the boy's birth. The orphanage has been in danger of collapse for eight years and now faces bankruptcy. A Danish corporation offers a substantial donation to maintain the orphanage, but Jacob is told that he must return to Denmark (where he grew up) to receive the funds. Apparently the CEO, Jørgen Hannson, wishes to meet Jacob and shake his hand.

Pramod is upset when he learns that Jacob must travel to Copenhagen, and is insistent that Jacob return for Pramod's birthday, which is in eight days. Jacob departs for Denmark; once there, he is greeted by a driver and a young man named Christian, and is checked into a luxurious suite at a five-star hotel, paid for by the corporation: quite a contrast from his living conditions in India.

When Jacob meets with Jørgen, Jørgen says he is still considering which project to fund. This surprises Jacob, who had understood that the decision was already made. Jørgen's daughter Anna is to marry Christian - the man who accompanied Jacob on his arrival - the next day, Jørgen invites Jacob to the wedding. During the ceremony, Helene, Jørgen's wife, notices Jacob, and steals surrepititous glances at him, unable to believe her eyes. They are formally introduced during the reception, though both of them already confirmed each other's identity. She was the love of Jacob's life, but he was unfaithful with her best friend, and they broke up twenty years prior.

During Anna's speech at the marriage festivities, Jacob learns that she is not the biological daughter of Jørgen. His suspicion that she might be his daughter is confirmed by Helene the next day. Jacob is angry to have only learned of his daughter after two decades. Helene claims that they had tried to track him down in India but were unsuccessful. She is compelled to tell Anna of Jacob now; the two meet and get along rather well, if not a bit awkwardly.

Jørgen stalls the negotiations relating to funding, which distresses Jacob, because of his promise to Pramod to return for the child's birthday. Jacob attempts to explain the situation to a disappointed Pramod, who cuts their telephone call short. Jacob meets with Jørgen again, and Jørgen discloses that he will create a foundation in Jacob's and Anna's name and fund it with a large sum of money. One of the conditions of the contract, however, would be that Jacob must live in Denmark.

Jacob initially finds himself unable to comply, because he is thinking of Pramod and the other children that has been part of his life for so long. He also resents the implication that he could be bought by Jørgen.

When Jacob storms out, Jørgen runs after him and admits to Jacob the real motivation: Jørgen is terminally ill and will soon die. Jørgen had brought Jacob to Denmark so he could care for Anna and Helene, as well as Morten and Martin, Jørgen's twin sons. Jacob is so angered, however, that he hastily leaves for his hotel room. Later, Anna turns up there crying because she has just discovered Christian with another woman. Jacob comforts her, realizing his need for her in his life. He signs the contract with Jørgen with the conditions intact.

Jørgen dies. On Jacob's next visit to India, construction work at the orphanage is well underway. Jacob asks Pramod if he would like to come to Denmark to live with him, but partly because Jacob used to rail against rich people, Pramod decides to stay in his home country.


Critical reception

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 86% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 95 reviews.

Time magazine's Richard Schickel named the film one of the Top 10 Movies of 2007, ranking it at #4, calling it a “dark, richly mounted film”. While Schickel saw the film as possibly “old-fashioned stylistically, and rather manipulative in its plotting”, he also saw “something deeply satisfying in the way it works out the fates of its troubled, yet believable characters.”

See also


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