‘After the Wedding’ is the 2006 film directed by Susanne Bier. Screenwriters were Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen.
Danish Jacob Petersen (Mads Mikkelsen) is a man nursing a broken heart. He screwed up years ago and lost the only woman he ever loved. He threw himself into his calling. This is helping the disadvantaged when and wherever he could. For the last eight years he has run an orphanage in India. Pramod (Neeral Mulchandani) who he’s raised since birth is the son he never had.
Every day is a struggle for money and supplies. With the orphanage about to close, Jacob’s salvation comes from an usual source. A corporation back home will clear the debt and provide more than they’ll ever need. Jacob must return home to meet the CEO Jorgen Hansson (Rolf Lassgard) before the orphanage receives a dime.
Jacob doesn’t want to return to Denmark because she is there. But he can’t let his life’s work die. So he reluctantly agrees to the terms. The meeting takes place only for Hansson to say he’s still thinking about it. Then he invites Jacob to his daughter Anna’s (Stine Fischer Christensen) wedding. Saying he’ll sign over the funds afterwards. Jacob doesn’t understand why Hansson is playing games with him.
Things go from bad to worse. Hansson’s wife Helene (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is Jacob’s lost love. Hansson also changed the terms of the contract. Jacob can’t return to India to live he must stay in Denmark. Jacob hates the idea of abandoning Pramod, the other children and the orphanage.
During the wedding Jacob learns that Hansson raised and loved Annie as his own though he isn’t her biological father. Jacob confronts Helene afterwards. He never knew about Annie. Helene is forced to admit to Jacob and Annie that he is her father.
The good: You find yourself forgetting that it’s a movie. Becoming emotionally invested in the characters and what will happen to them. Realistic and nail biting performances by Mikkelsen, Lassgard and Knudsen. Outstanding chemistry between the three leads. How the new blended family gets along.
Mikkelsen and his reel son Neeral Mulchandani. You wanted more of Meenal Patel as Mrs. Shaw. Hansson’s motive for contacting Jacob is not what you think it is. Jacob’s long held attitude about the wealthy bites him on the behind.
How Helene’s secret blew up in her face and she had to come clean to Jacob, Annie and her husband. Hansson is both a selfish #$$%^&* and a man who puts his family’s happiness above his own. You’re right there routing for Jacob the whole time. That he’ll find a way to have the money and his life back in India. Elements of Annie’s life mirrors Jacob’s past with Helene.
The bad: Hansson’s manipulation of Jacob. Not surprised that Helene was Jacob’s former lover.
The ugly: The choices Jacob was forced to make and Pramod’s fate.
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