The Danish Girl free online movie, directed by Tom Hooper, is a story of individual’s struggle that is also a portrait of a marriage.
In this respect, The Danish Girl free online resembles The King’s Speech, and in that case, the union of George VI and Elizabeth was the foundation on which the tale of George’s elocutionary striving was built. The marriage is bohemian rather than aristocratic, but the stakes are every bit as profound and consequential as the matters of state that drove the monarch to the microphone.
Gerda (Alicia Vikander) and Einar (Eddie Redmayne) Wegener seem perfectly matched. Both are painters living amid the soft colors and sea air of Copenhagen in 1926. Gerda is a portraitist, while Einar drew landscape from his childhood memories of the fjords and marshlands of Vejle. Like many couples who share a profession, they provide each other with support as well as a bit of competition. Their best friend, Ulla (Amber Heard), marvels at their mutual devotion.
However, their relationship turns out to rest on a false premise. Through a process that is by turns wrenching and exciting, Einar discovers that he is not truly the man that the world has always taken him to be. It begins as an experiment: dressing as a woman for the Copenhagen artist’s ball, wearing one of Gerda’s camisoles under his clothes, and that bit of a game becomes an existential transformation. For a while, Einar and Gerda pretend that Lili, his female persona, is Einar’s cousin, visiting Copenhagen from the countryside. Henrik (Ben Whishaw falls in love with Lili, but she is not Einar in disguise. The truth is exactly the reverse.
The Danish Girl free online movie is written by Lucinda Coxon and based on David Ebershoff’s novel of the same title. It is a fictionalized biography of Lili Elbe as one of the first people to attempt sex reassignment surgery. Lili’s encounters with prevailing medical wisdom culminating in her meeting with a sympathetic doctor (Sebastian Koch), and they form a harrowing subplot. Her bravery makes this movie a welcome tribute to a heroic forerunner of the current movement for transgender rights. It’s impossible not to be moved by Lili’s self-recognition and by her demand to be recognized by those who care most about her.
Still, it’s also hard not to wish that The Danish Girl free movie were a better movie as it having more daring and emotionally open exploration of Lili’s emergence. The movie’s title phrase is uttered on screen once, by Einar’s childhood friend Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts), a Paris art dealer, in reference to Gerda, and it is Gerda’s ordeal that provides the narrative with its emotional center of gravity. Kyle Buchanan complained that it was part of a trend of “queer and trans films that are actually about straight people” as the emphasis on Gerda’s experience being illegitimate. She is called upon to support the man she loves as he erasing himself from her life.
However, the movie unlike Jill Soloway’s Amazon series of Transparent. While the series embeds gender transition in a dense and detailed weave of family relations, The Danish Girl free movie online takes place in the airless, elegant atmosphere of quality filmmaking. Every scene is wrapped around a neat nub of feeling. The dialogue is carefully balanced between modern sensibilities and the imaginary language of Fancy Old Europe.
Hooper’s tasteful, earnest, didactic style does the movie no favors, and the asymmetry between the central performances doesn’t help, either. Redmayne is a master of technique, adept at significant gestures, freighted glances and the kind of showiness that masquerades as subtlety. As a result, the passage from Einar to Lili is almost entirely a matter of artifice and surface. Redmayne alters the angle of his neck, the rhythm of his walk, the timbre of his voice and the set of his mouth. It’s all very impressive, but like that much-praised performance, this one does not take us where we need to go. In contrast, Vikander acts from the inside out with an openness and spontaneity that is especially rare in movies like this one. Whether she is painting, smoking, embracing her husband or offering her hand to the woman who replaces him, Gerda is the one figure onscreen who seems to breathe the sharp air of reality.