transcripts of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episodes 9 &10 page 10 second posting

  • 5 February 2012 9:03PM

    correction: 2nd paragraph should read
    “.so Bengt was telling her how to run the government too”

    here’s a funny thought:do women have egos? we never hear of them..
    i’m asking why did Philipes precious ego necessarily have to be tied to a high powered job?

    Also, a rather rotten thought occurs retrospectively which is:yes, having done this myself, i can understand how Phillipe went for a new job for an ego boost. However, as posters here have pointed out his odd smirking reaction to the cringemaking “arrse” appreciation speech at his leaving do, the thought arises that this also was an ego boosting excercise for him. He loved it. he needed to see and hear how he was appreciated and perhaps for Birgitte to hear it too?

    I could only think that how on earth Birgitte was making time for such things? Did Phillipe not realise that was her way of appreciating him and his importance? She must have had to move heaven and earth to make time for this and then her family were still constantly sighing woefully at her mobile phone calls..Phillipe could have pointed the way on their attitude to this. He didn’t..

    Regarding the painfully uncomfortable oops i hit a corner of a table scene:my take on this was that for a split second Birgitte collapsed in emotional pain, letting her guard down and giving in to how she was feeling. Did i miss fisticuffs because i didn’t see any? given time to consider this over the course of the second episode i ruminated that whether she had been hit or not:this injury did in fact signify Phillipe’s hidden anger at her. So Birgitte may well have a battered wife in all but name.

    This scene reminded me of a similarly at odds and uncomfortable scene in Sex and The City when Carrie gets into a hard to pin down scuffle with the Russian artist guy. He goes to slap her and they end up entangled in an embarrassed way yet her new diamond necklace, a present from him, gets snapped..It strikes me that, as in real life, such scenes are rarely cut and dried and hence this was a realistically uncomfortable portrayal of violence and anger in relationships.

    i would have to disagree with posters that see Birgitte as grasping for power and necessarily sacrificing Bengt and Phillipe along the way. She was trying to hold onto her power in a tricky coalition. Or else she wouldn’t be Pm. She had to cut out those who kept rejecting her authority and over-ruling her.

    She had already bowed to decisions and advice from Bengt and Phillipe. however they wouldn’t respect her authority. Phillipe is eventually forced to. However the situation is of his own making. He set himself up for the fall and made Birgitte look like the bad guy. But she wouldn’t have had to deal with the issue of his job if he had taken their partnership seriously in which case he wouldn’t have gone for a new job and taken it without joint discussion. Phillipe makes it all a power play when it is about partnership.

    nb. i would also have to disagree that Birgitte becomes necessarily harder looking and becomes more cynical as she goes along. i hadn’t noticed the change in the colour of her hair. What i felt was that as time went on Birgitte actually became more and more beautiful. Slightly more dishevelled in appearance but that only enhanced her. My take was that once she had thrown off a fairly abusive presence all in all she began to flourish and her strength and fortitude showed through..

    Just like with the guy who offered to hide all less than glowing points in the hunting trip report with “coffee stains” who Birgitte gave short shrift too:likewise she had to fight for her own authority and respect from those who did not afford it to her concomitant to her job as PM.
    Unfortunately, for Birgitte, these people included her old friend Bengt and her own husband Phillipe..

    i had an odd moment in the scene with Phillipe when he was sitting in a chair that momentarily looked like a wheelchair to me. This impression only lasted a nanosecond when i peered more closely & saw it was just a fancy metal leather chair. However it was a testament to the acting skills of Ulrik Strange (ok i don’t know his name) that he evoked so completely in this scene his utter and complete exhaustion. Like he had almost lost the power of his legs.

    guess it was meant to signify Phillipes’ exhaustion & reluctance to devote any more time & energy to the relationship-which he did seem to give up very easily:somewhat reminiscent of the Captain of Concordia “tripping & falling into a lifeboat” on a sinking ship..

    As posters have said, he did indeed look strained, indeed pinched and drawn and possibly having lost weight. Yes, he was worn out:all sympathy due, it is indeed a very hard job he was doing. Although he did have the energy to ‘meet’ with Sasha..

    If only they had had a real Mrs. Doubtfire, perhaps everything would have been allright..

    still, “Tomorrow”, as Scarlett O’ Hara said, “is another day”..

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