Dancer in the Dark

Heart rending story of an immigrant woman wrongly accused of murder by the US courts, Dancer in the Dark (2000) has its moments of pure anguish, yet at some parts, its script lets it down. Selma Jezkova (Bjork) is a Czech immigrant who has a son and she is working in a factory nearby to her residence. She has a degenerative eye condition, which is making her eyesight poorer by the day until she is actually not able to see anything. She is not very rich so she stays in a trailer in the house compound of a policeman and his wife, Bill and Linda Houston (David Morse and Cara Seymour). For some unknown reasons, not explained to us at least, she fears that her son could get the same debilitating condition and not live peacefully or play with his grandchildren etc. So she is collecting money for an operation to be done when he turns 14 (again no explanation for that). In the meanwhile the policeman becomes bankrupt for some unexplicable reason (that is an irony is’nt it, policeman becoming bankrupt, they can just increase their collections, i guess!! ) and tries to take away the money kept safe by Selma. She goes to court for murder of the policeman and you know the usual things in the court, she gets the death penalty, like whattt. In the court proceedings Selma takes the rap on herself without any strong rebuttal, now why should she do that when she has a 13 year old son to look after, no relatives in the country, beats me. There are a lot of songs in the movie just like an Indian film but again the songs are all placed in weird situations. The concept is good, but a weak script is a let down. Bjork does play a good role as Selma though and also Catherine Denueve as her best friend Kathy and Peter Stormare as Jeff who loves her, but which she does not reciprocate. Much tough scenes in the end, with a tragic climax.

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