Queen of Hearts (2019) was screened at the 17th Chennai International Film Festival. The Danish adult film was a Sundance award winner.
The story is a familiar one of an older woman seducing an underage boy. Whether it is the classic The Graduate (1967) or The Reader (2008) these licentious relationships start for fun and no one gets hurt till they are secretive, but they don’t remain so for long.
What shouldn’t have started at all, always ends badly, it does so in Queen of Hearts too!
Directed by May el-Toukhy and the lead cast are Trine Dyrholm as Anne, a successful lawyer living in Denmark with her husband Peter & their two girls, and Gustav Lindh as Gustav, the 17-year son of Peter and his first wife Rebecca.
The luxurious house where Peter & Anne live is set in the scenic countryside of Denmark. Peter is a successful botanist with many accolades for his research, and Anne is a well-known lawyer fighting cases of child abuse. It is ironic to have Anna who sees kids being exploited every day, seducing her stepson Gustav leading to griefful consequences. Director has skillfully navigated the taboo subject through an engaging screenplay. He develops well the events leading up to the incest relationship, but the unravelling was a bit painful for me.
Transitioning effortlessly from a loving mother and wife to a temptress and then to becoming devilish, Trine Dyrholm runs with the film entirely on her shoulders, kudos to her. If you like this genre, check out this film for Trine’s acting.