Alternative English Title: Crack, Back & Sack
Release Date: July 19, 2013
Director: Johan Kaos
Novel by: Mads Larsen
Screenplay by: Johan Kaos, Mads Larsen, Kirsten Bonnén Rask, Ragnhild Tronvoll
Cast: Ole Christoffer Ertvaag, Herbert Nordrum, Anders Rydning, Kristina Knaben Hennestad, Marte Sæteren, Gitte Witt
There was a point in American cinema when sex on screen became taboo, and stepping out of the boundaries that were established meant the MPAA would easily stamp you with their R-Rated stamp, or worse yet, the fear-inducing and enticing NC-17. While America still tries to figure out its nature, Europe goes circles around the subject to deliver Pornopung — which apparently is Norwegian slang for “shaved balls,” anyone cares to confirm that?
Ever with its playful nature, director Johan Kaos teased *cough potential online viewers* with a video of his own set. With such a stunt, how could I miss the chance to check out the explicit film of a nice young man turned bad boy, Christian (Ertvaag), when he moves from his small town to the slightly bustler Oslo, as he is taken under the tutelage of his womanizer roommates Karl (Nordrum) and Leo (Rydning). Though the promise of Pornopung is that of booze, drugs and sex — a clear notch up from Porky’s or American Pie — with the ubiquitous euro house beats; the film unveils its heart as we see Christian struggling with the new-found love of his life, Myliam (Witt), and his torrid sinking into a whirlwind life that he really didn’t want for himself and will eventually crush him.
Acting is decent, and Ertvaag plays a compelling everyday man trying to be the better version of himself until he reaches dick levels — no pun intended — to match his “master” Karl, played convincingly by Nordrum, who spouts women pick-up wisdom as if his life depended on it. Though, the film tries hard to make this group of people a group of friends, who end up bonding in time, the catalyst between them seems forced. Would you so easily agree to follow the instructions of someone that sleeps with the girl you like? You’ll punch them in the face and tell them to f*ck themselves. Instead, Christian becomes passive aggressive with the girl recriminating her that she should have been the one to recognize a dick. In his journey, he does deliver some interesting ideas on the continuing battle of the sexes — specifically targeted at Norwegian society (and possibly other Scandinavian nations) — which has been a constant topic despite the contradiction of having one of the most gender-equal regions in the world yet women still suffer from, not only domestic violence, but violence in general .
As Pornopung follows a path in which Christian stops being an ugly duckling to discover his hidden and hungry… goat, the film steps away from the gloss and becomes quite dark. It breaks the mood, and it’s messed up, but it’s a decent progression to make it distinct. I don’t think the ending of the film is as good, since I never really took to Myliam for the lack of development in her character. I would have taken a little more screen time for Elisa (Sæteren), and call it a day. The drama they had together was much more interesting than anything that didn’t come out of the other relationship.
As for how explicit the film is? I thought it was going to be more graphic, except for a shot of Leo’s erect penis, as well as one slow-mo close up of his junk by the end, there’s nothing in there that would be more graphic than anything in an American Pie movie.