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Review: ‘Off Track’ on Netflix

Maria Karlsson and Morten Klingberg wrote and directed Off Track (Ur Spr). This Swedish film just hit Netflix for the holidays. Fredrik Hallgren and Katia Winter play Daniel and Lisa, siblings training for the Vasaloppet.

Although not a Christmas picture, it’s set in winter. First-half characters are introduced. Lisa is a divorced alcoholic. After a night in the drunk tank, a social services investigation, and a flooded apartment, she moves in with her brother.

Daniel is a keen skier who trains for the 90-kilometer Vasaloppet. Lisa starts training with her meticulous brother for the same race to impress her daughter.

The film introduces the characters slowly. Lisa’s marriage ended and she spiraled downward. Her ex-husband and his new girlfriend’s wonderful life remind her of her motherhood shortcomings. Daniel has financial security, a good marriage, and a healthy lifestyle, which his sister lacks. Something is lacking, and he keeps his loved ones too far away.

While a down-on-their-luck character committing to a sporting event isn’t unique, this offering is.

The comedy doesn’t detract from the well-roundedness of the characters. Katia Winter plays a woman who’s about to lose everything she loves about well.

Fredrik Hallgren’s narrative as her brother is more than a sidekick. Leif Andrée gives the film’s best performance. I laughed at his few taxi driver situations.

Off Track, a comedy that tackles infertility, alcoholism, and fatherhood. Some topics are handled sensitively, while others aren’t. Everything seems meaningless. The story sometimes dragged, and the picture had too many characters. The police officer-turned-lover might have been removed without harming the main plot.