|Semra Turan as the titular fighter sends a determined stare on this simple yet effective poster for Natascha Arthy's Fighter|
Aicha is a young woman in Denmark with Turkish roots, whose life sometimes is a balancing act for her between the sweet Danish boy, her obdurate Muslim family, school and her passion for kung fu.
Fighter, written by great Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel (Catch that Girl/Klatretøsen (2002)), Rasmus Heisterberg (A Royal Affair/En Kongelig Affære (2012)) and co-writer-director Natascha Arthy (Old, New, Borrowed and Blue/Se til Venstre, Der Er En Svensker (2003)), is a surprisingly good Danish youth martial arts romance-drama with social realism elements.
Debuting Semra Turan (The Protectors/Livvagterne (2009), TV-series) and Cyron Melville (Love and Rage/Vanvittig Forelsket (2009)) do well in the main parts, and the drama is gripping. Aicha as a character follows the classic recipe of getting mowed over for much of the film in Fighter, - only to charge back like a cannonball for the climax.
The film's scoop is undoubtedly its signing on Xian Gao (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)) to choreograph the fights and stunts, which raises Fighter and makes it stand out as something of a rarity in Danish cinema; an actual Danish martial arts film.
Minor flaws and repetitions don't defeat this solid cultural gulf/kung fu gem.
Watch the Danish trailer for the film here
Cost: Unknown - reportedly 4 mil. $
Box office: Unknown
= Uncertain - but likely a flop, perhaps even a mega-flop
[Fighter was released 14 December (Denmark) and runs 100 minutes. Shooting took place between October 2006 - March 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark. 52,189 paid admission to see it in its native Denmark, far from enough to let it get near to success, - especially if the reported 4 mil. $ budget is accurate. It was released in several other markets including at 14 festivals. Without numbers from its other markets, its status can only be tentatively set to that of flop. It was nominated for 3 Bodil awards (the Danish film critics' awards). Turan has only had a part in the Danish The Protectors TV-series in 2009 since the film. Arthy returned directing TV-series Lulu & Leon (2009), The Killing/Forbrydelsen (2012) and Heartless (2014) and theatrically with the panned comedy Comeback (2015). 1,351 IMDb users have given Fighter a 6.6/10 average rating.]
What do you think of Fighter?