“I hate message movies,” spits Susanne Bier. The hate is upheld by the Danish director’s Oscar-winning, scalpel-sharp dissection of revenge ethics. Its parallel plots seem pat: two school friends struggle with bullies, while an aid-worker in Africa has his pacifism tested.
But messages become muddied: violence begets results, pacifism begets trouble, moral certainty emerges as limited. Bier draws on lived-in performances and a scathing script to twist resolutions into conundrums.
“This is a question movie,” Bier declares on sharp extras. Spot on.