Let us begin this review by saying when the film was in production it was described as a form of ‘Indiana Jones’ but with family relationships. We went into the film thinking that. Here’s what we came out with.
We begin in Stockholm, where gallery owner Catherine Taurus is approached by a dark stranger, Yonas Al-Masri, who asks strange questions about a gold statuette depicting the Egyptian god Anubis. Meanwhile her father, an art dealer, disappears. A very confused Catherine goes to ask the family lawyer about it all, but he’s been killed. She stumbles on a photograph of her father and some other men in Egypt, and makes the conclusion that she needs to travel there herself. She jumps on a plane to Israel and makes her way to Egypt, stumbling between dramas and then finding her father. Then the film ends.
The film goes from weird to dull, and then from boring to even more boring. The statue is completely uninteresting and for such a rare item Catherine sure does like to bash it on things. Her fathers disappearance is not exactly a mystery and provides little to no conflict because the film has no antagonists at all. For such a dull story the film sure does try its hardest to be pretentious. It continuously talks about the Arab Spring: images on television, monologues by strangers and war planes flying above our characters. It’s so arrogant that it becomes annoying, and is not backed up at all in the plot.
But that’s not the worst part. Our ‘Indiana Jones’ – Catherine – is perhaps one of the worst characters in recent times. She is continuously dazed, confused and not sure what she’s doing. She fails anything she tries, and only manages to find her father because one of his friends joins her and helps her, something that is sure to set women back in film a few years. Stine Fischer Christensen isn’t a bad actress, but she sure looks like she didn’t want to be in the film. One wonders if she is actively trying to thwart the movie she’s in. Catherine will be in danger, explore mysterious rooms, get hurt, be angry, be frightened, but Christensen refuses to do anything other than stare at her surroundings and say in the exact same tone over and over ‘Who are you?’ ‘What’s going on?’ ‘I don’t understand’ ‘Help’. However, we can forgive Christensen because there’s so much weird acting in this film that you wonder if the films director gave up.
Axel Petersen is by no means a bad director – his film Avalon wowed audiences when it opened the Göteborg Film Festival in 2012. It was a heartbreaking drama on many levels, and it showed a lacerated loneliness in desolate Sweden, where empathy become scarce and alcohol only consolation in misery. We aren’t sure what went so wrong with Under the Pyramid, but It just doesn’t work on any level.
Overall, Under the Pyramid has no story, no conflict, no characters, no director and no acting talent. It is a tedious film in more ways than one.