Heaven’s Heart is a Swedish story of the troubles of the lives of Lars and Susannah.
Release Date: 29 February 2008 (Sweden)
Director: Simon Staho
Writer: Peter Asmussen, Simon Staho
Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Lena Endre, Jakob Eklund
Country: Sweden, Denmark
A Swedish story of the troubles that can befall even the most apparently linked of couples, “Heaven’s Heart” initially follows the lives of Lars and Susannah. On the face of it, everything about their lives is great, they have been happily married for several years, both enjoy their work and show the financial benefits of it in their opulent house. One of the things they enjoy doing most together is socialising with their friends Ann and Ulf, both of who lead similarly successful and stimulating lives. Everything is very middle class and very nice for them all and with Lars and Susannah’s daughter about to move out they are ready to move onto the next exciting phase of their lives.
During one of their dinner parties, the subject of conversation turns to marital infidelity and this causes an unexpected division between the protagonists as both Susanna and Ulf think that adultery is a natural part of being alive while Lars and Ann are much more conservative in their views and disagree entirely. The argument becomes heated and suddenly there is a rift in trust between the previously unshakeable couples as the faithful partner suddenly realise the potential implications of their other half’s worldview. The conversation drifts into self examination and things that suddenly seemed rock solid in their lives are thrown into turmoil.
It doesn’t help but complicate matters that afterwards, Lars and Ann, who both agreed that adultery is wrong find themselves sharing more time together and are drawn closer to each other, bonded by their mutual rejection of the concept of infidelity. Which as it turns out is ironic. You can guess what happens next. They fall for each other, finally finding in the other what they were always looking for, the passion and a deep understanding. Lars however is troubled by a guilty conscience and confesses the affair to Susannah who suddenly drops her initial argument and shows no understanding whatsoever, now that it is happening to her.
This is a brilliantly made film with a cracking story, full of human drama and very tense in places, niftily and confidently directed ad superbly acted by all four protagonists. While it’s scope is limited to their domestic surroundings, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic as it opens up a world of issues that many modern couples face. We’ll all relate to these four at some point in our lives. Watch it at all costs, you won’t be disappointed.