Posted October 28, 2012 by William Dunmyer in Drama

Teddy Bear: Good But Not Great

“Teddy Bear” is a good film but not a great one. It was made in Denmark by Mads Matthiesen and stars real-life bodybuilder Kim Kold. It is the first feature film for both Matthiesen and Kold, telling the story of a man approaching age 40 but still trying to break free from the domineering power of his mother.

The most striking thing about the film is the contrast between the main character’s physical power — he truly looks like The Hulk — and his emotional powerlessness. I very much liked this study in contrasts and the examination of contradictions that often come with hyper-masculinity.

I also liked the hints at the end of why the mother and son are so deeply bonded. I won’t reveal the surprises. I’ll just say that the man’s devotion to his mother appears more comprehensible in the end.

But “Teddy Bear” never really takes your breath away. It’s absolutely competent but not much more than that.

William Dunmyer

William Dunmyer is a lifelong cinephile who fell in love with movies at about the age of 5. He lives in New York City.