Thanks For Everything is a short film from Norway that left me contemplating several things, and wondering how I would describe this film to someone who might not have the chance to see it. What could I possibly say to convey the feeling and impact of the film? How could I do it justice? For any potential viewers, would its complexity be lost in the conversation, or would its simplicity leave it overlooked? I must mention that I enjoyed the 80's era music style. It helped hook me from the beginning.
I watched it twice, to get the full impact. That's not a play on words, although anyone viewing the film might think so. My advice would be to watch this film very carefully from start to finish, with no distractions. I had the luxury of watching it multiple times, for which I am grateful. The first time, I was paying attention, but had a few distractions, and by the time I got to the end, I was wondering what important things I needed to catch for it to feel ok at the end, trying to understand what had happened. I watched again and this time made sure I would not be interrupted, and I hung onto every word and interaction.
It begins with a solitary man walking from what appears to be his gigantic apartment building, down city streets, up flights of stairs, through large halls and terminals, until he comes to a foggy and poorly lit street, stopping at a lonely-looking bridge. We see him stretch and sigh, then carefully climb through the railings to the "danger" side of the bridge. Almost immediately both the viewer and the lone man discover that he is no longer alone. The danger edge of the bridge already has a percher.
I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange between these two men. It's brilliantly executed. We don't know the reasons or motives for either at first...why are they here, what are their exact intentions....we can only guess and assume. But the bearded man, Tom, who was already sitting there when Marius arrived, is mysterious and at times so full of humor, surely he can't be there for the same reason as Marius, can he? They exchange some interesting conversation on which I clung to every word. Tom questions if Marius has the proper name for his "appearance," offers him some shellfish picnic lunch, to which Marius is most definitely not inclined to partake. Tom asks why Marius is here.Has he really thought this out? It's a funny question from a man who was already here upon Marius's arrival. As the conversation evolves, we see Marius sort of start to relax and he seems to be taking to heart the advice from Tom that it's quite normal to have all the worries and stresses...and maybe he really hasn't thought this through. We're still not sure where this is going or why Tom is there, when we hear what sounds like a car accident up the street, and sirens.
What happens next is a change of pace from the earlier majority of the film. The last few minutes are filled with a few new characters...an officer and a probably intoxicated lovely woman, who is very flirtatious and distracting, and a dizzying sequence of events. The officer recognizes Tom, Tom is annoyed by the woman, and everything is happening too quickly. While the officer is handling the chatty drunk lady, Tom and Marius have another exchange which is very important and which I missed the first time I watched. I don't want to give away the ending at all, but I will say this: I want people to see this film and think about how we interact with each other, how every decision we make has consequences that we can't foresee. Well-meaning or selfish, hurting or trying to heal, I loved this film because at the end there were unintended circumstances and a finality that nobody could predict or prevent...not entirely. Sometimes things happen so split-second that we don't see that it's been building for a while. From start to finish I applaud those who made this film and I highly recommend it. The editing, directing, cinematography...all are excellent. The actors were great as well. I give special merit to the sound department, especially in the last few minutes of the film. I'm thankful that I was able to experience this film, and I won't forget it.