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The Independent Critic

Writer/Director
Patrik Eklund
Starring
Simon J. Berger, Goran Forsmark, Saga Garde, Anki Larsson
Running Time
22 Mins.

 "Instead of Abracadabra" Review 
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Carried largely by the leading performance by Simon J. Berger, "Instead of Abracadabra" may very well be this year's most purely comical short film entry with its "Napoleon Dynamite" style humor wrapped around a quirky young man (Berger) who aspires to being a magician while his befuddled family sits by wishing he'd simply find himself a job.

After running into a nurse neighbor following a rather misfortunate magic trick experience, our magical misfit becomes determined to impress this said nurse by performing at his father's 60th birthday party.

"Instead of Abracadabra," is a Swedish film and carries the trademark Swedish embracing of uniqueness and novelty into a character who would feel right at home in "Napoleon Dynamite," "Hot Rod" or any other of a myriad of Hollywood's misfit films. As the wannabe magician, Simon J. Berger is a revelation of comic restraint and timing, coming off as a mix between Jon Heder and Jemaine Clement's antisocial misfit in the underappreciated "Eagle vs. Shark."

Writer/director Patrik Eklund has a strong knack for telling a rather basic story in fresh and vibrant ways, and his editing of the film keeps everything moving along quite nicely over the film's 22-minute runtime. David Grehn's camera work has sort of a psychedelic flow to it adding to the rather fluid, non-forming aura of the film.

While "Instead of Abracadbra," which gets its name because our magician prefers to use the word "Chimay!" rather than "Abracadabra," is likely too light to be considered a serious contender for the 2010 Oscar, it is a delightful and fresh entry and a great example of the new cinematic visionaries coming out of Sweden.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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