Force Majeuere: Not All Heroes Wear Manhood

In case of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks above your seat will deploy, please place the mask first and then assist your child or other passengers.

The announcement above is made by the cabin crew before the flights. In the emergencies, children are not put first to be saved, because how could parents provide safety if they are not safe themselves? In a natural disaster, parents, especially fathers are the ones that are responsible for the safety of the kids. Why fathers, though? Why do we think of men to save the day when it comes to the family? During Force Majeure, director Ruben Östlund strings along with the assumption about manhood that men are there to stand up and protect the ones that need help even when they need it, too. Heroic duty of men makes one to forget that they are humans having the fear of death inside as well as the others.

Thrived on dark humor, the film charts the following events of a middle-class family struggling with togetherness after an avalanche almost engulfs them during their vacation in the Alps. With abandoning his family behind and running away until the avalanche stops, the father has been stigmatized for his cowardice. The mother gets irritated by his act which may sound extremely selfish to the most under a disastrous circumstance that could have terrible consequences. She then continually asks him to admit what he has done was wrong and he better come up with an explanation for his wrongdoing.

Often placing the man in front of the hotel room’s door and forcing him to think about his act whilst creating an argument between the other couple about not being able to fulfill the expected role as a father in the family, the director somehow asserts that the aspect of women for men is built on some kind of sexist expectations that normally do not really sound sexist. Unhesitatingly giving all he has, the father played by Johannes Bah Kuhnke, is asking the mother and also the audience to find a legitimate reason by themselves and understand his lack of courage by thinking outside the box shaped in moral universalism. Ridiculously crying of him makes the film even funnier in such serious scenes which is a parallel with the ironic use of Vivaldi’s Summer for a film in which the events within occur in winter time as the tension gets increased.