Knut Hamsun, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920, has the reputation of being a norwegian Dostoyevsky. In "Hunger", you will meet Raskolnikov and the brother of The Underground Man. Furthermore, Thomas Mann described him as a descendant of Fyodor Dostoyevky and Friedrich Nietzsche. So if you love Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I highly recommend reading the novel "Hunger", and then watch this wonderful movie.
This film grew on me by the end. The lead performance, Per Oscarsson, is balanced in all the best ways. We feel so much for Pontus especially in these scenes when he returns to the pawn shop to attempt to sell what little he has for as little value. And the spirit of this man is so admirable and yet not contrived. Perhaps a tad taxing on the modern viewer but a worthwhile lesson in filmmaking and characterization.
I don't feel the description of this film is quite accurate. It's an infuriating yet incredibly effective journey into pride and madness. It's not quite all insanity that dominates this character but incredible pride which leads him into to so many disasters. But it's hard to stop watching him. My one criticism is the part with the woman, I never understood her motivation and it was the only weak element of the film
A starving artist (literally) stumbles around 1890 Oslo battling hunger and madness. I wouldn’t call it an entertaining movie, but it holds your attention due to the well-recreated sets, and excellent acting by the lead actor who from certain angles reminded me of a demented Johnny Depp.
This compares favorably Charlie Chaplin's 'The Immigrant'. His tramp is not played for laughs, but something much bigger. He's crazy, but his moral sense makes him rise above the others in this film. Compassion. Unlike Chaplin, he can't take money from someone and not feel guilty. It reminded me of 'Pennies from Heaven', where dreams of glory meet the hard reality of his life. Hope is that thing with feathers.
I liked this movie--very good production values, and the best, most faithful cinematic adaptation of Knut Hamsun's very strange first novel that can be expected. I was disappointed with how the film tried to resolve the mystery of the novel's conclusion. Hamsun, himself, left the thing much more mysterious (his next novel, even stranger than this one, was _Mysteries_). His own resolution was notoriously misguided.
It's terrific to discover a treasure such as this. "Hunger" not only refers to the need for nourishment, but the yearning and lust for the finer things in life. Our main character is a man putting on appearances for the sake of social class acceptance or even love. Per Oscarsson plays this part to perfection as a dreamer grasping at air.
Take out the part where he goes with Gunnel to her flat and it would be a flawless masterpiece. No woman, much less a lady, would have gone anywhere near him - apart from being obviously mentally ill, he would have been putrid. Even by the standards of the time.