You, The Living

A comedic downer

You, The Living finds Roy Andersson deliver a series of vignettes exploring moments in ordinary life. Characters and settings recur and a few strands of interconnected narrative unfold to create what is essentially a comic sketch show; albeit a sketch show where pacing is secondary to a downbeat philosophy that questions the consequences of human action.

This is a film that finds both tragedy and humour in what are usually mundane, every day settings. As such, it works best when it reflects on our own reality or on the rarer occasions where reality is infused with fantasy. Some scenes (a riff on the old tablecloth trick, an offended barber, a dreamlike marriage and the moving finale) really astound although trimming a few of the dryer moments would enhance the film’s overall poignancy and general accessibility. If personal foibles tickle your humour buds, You, The Living is worth a viewing.

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