A historical drama with the bizarre rock-style twist, Satisfaction 1720 is certainly a unique film about a celebrated war hero. Henrik Ruben Genz is an excellent director, but it’s hard to tell if he managed to do justice to a badly written script, or if this film was just bad from the start.
Let us take go back a step – Satisfaction 1720 takes place after the Great Northern War, and Vice Admiral Tordenskiold (Jakob Oftebro), star of the victorious Danish-Norwegian fleet, has no idea what to do with his life. His valet, Kold (Martin Buch), persuades him to go on a vacation arguing that now is the time to marry and settle town. The trip turns into a kind of farewell tour, with Tordenskjold stopping along the way and reciting his famed battle to the ears of cheering audiences. Being the 1720s version of a modern day rock-star, Tordenskiold sleeps and parties his way all around Denmark. Gradually, the film takes a melancholic turn, and the increasingly alarmed Tordenskiold is forced into a suspicious duel by former Swedish arch-enemies seemingly bent on revenge.
There is no doubt that this film is a fresh and unexpected production. Where the film succeeds is that it is probably entertaining to the general public, and it really does take on a unique approach to historical acts. Furthermore, where have we not seen Jakob Oftebro lately? Just yesterday he was in Gold Coast and now he leads this film, with A Conspiracy of Faith just around the corner. But who can complain, he is a brilliant actor who makes the most of his truly bizarre character.
It seems the positives to the film end there. While the idea of a fun party film slowly turning into a dark and melancholic piece is appealing, there is so much sex, drinking, partying and arrogance during the first half of the film that by the time we need to feel things for Tordenskiold, we are too annoyed and ready to leave the theatre. The film seems to lack true direction, is corny and just plain silly. It’s too crude for young audiences, yet too immature for older crowds.
That said, Satisfaction 1720 is a film that will probably be enjoyed by the general public. While not a bad film, it’s just bizarre. It surely has an audience out there, we just aren’t quite sure who they are.