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Koko-di Koko-da

Koko-di Koko-da

Koko-di Koko-da is a strange little movie, the kind that only Scandinavians could or would make. Writer/producer/director/editor Johannes Nyholm owes more to von Trier than to Bergman, though, and even then seems to have limited himself to imitating the former's bad habits and none of the virtues that tend to redeem his excesses.

A happily married Swedish couple, Tobias (Leif Edlund) and Elin (Ylva Gallon) are on holiday in Skagen, Denmark with their only daughter Maja (Katarina Jakobson). At a restaurant, an allergic reaction to shellfish sends Elin to the hospital. The family spends the night in the hospital, only to discover the next morning that Maja has died in her sleep, presumably from her own belated allergic reaction. Three years later Tobias and Elin's marriage is on thin ice, so they decide to go camping in the woods, hoping this will somehow save their relationship (or maybe destroy it once and for all). All of this suspiciously reminiscent of von Trier's Antichrist.

The morning after the night of the journey, Tobias has a prophetic dream, and this is where the wheels start to come off, because the only thing Tobias's dream predicts is another dream, which in turn predicts another, and another, and so on and so forth.

Moreover, all these dreams are basically the same, with some variations; three characters from nursery rhymes (depicted on the music box that Tobias and Elin gave Maja for her eighth birthday) and a bull terrier show up to torment and humiliate the couple (Iím reminded of Antichristís 'three beggars').

After each dream we see a flashback to the night before and then back again to the next morning, in time for Tobias to have another false awakening. He becomes more and more aware of what is about to happen but doesnít share that knowledge, so that poor Elin always gets the worst of every attack, while Tobias is reduced to a helpless bystander (except for one occasion when he oddly seems more a voyeur).

On the other hand, since she is nothing more than a character in Tobias's dreams, in reality it is he who suffers psychologically with each repetition ó but something tells me I'm reading much more into this movie than the filmmakers actually intended.

This is pretty much a one-trick pony ó a trick it repeats over and over again and which was not all that tricky the first time around. The movie is thankfully short (then again, any film that lacks a proper conclusion is bound to be brief), though thatís damning faint praise considering it could stand to be a lot shorter.