Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Danish Girl

I loved The Danish Girl. Set in Denmark and Paris in the 1920s, it tells the story of Einar, Gerda, and Lili.

Einar and Gerda are happily married. He is a successful artist and she is an emerging one. They seem to love each other very much. One day Gerda's model for a painting of a dancer is running late, and Gerda asks Einar to pose in her stockings and shoes. As Einar puts on the stockings you see something happen to him as he experiences their texture and sees his legs in new way. This is when he begins to rediscover Lili. Soon he is gazing at new versions of himself, drawn by Gerda, wearing Gerda's nightdress and playing with Gerda as Lili. More and more Lili becomes real and Einar begins to fade. Throughout this, the intimacy between Einar, Gerda, and Lili changes and shifts. Gerda is pained at the loss of Einar, and unsure who to be for Lili.

Lili's story is haunting as her own identity, belief in herself, and integrity emerge, as she fights against medical and psychiatric intervention, and finally finds a doctor who understands that Lily is real and will perform sex reassignment surgery.

Einar and Lily were exquisitely portrayed with depth and sensitivity, and Gerda's emotions, and her devotion to them was very powerful. The Danish Girl is a very beautiful movie.

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