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Review: Where is Knoester? -Knerten i knipe (2011)

Director: Arild Østin Ommundsen | 71 minutes | family | Actors: Adrian Grønnevik Smith, Åsleik Engmark, Pernille Sørensen, Jan Gunnar Røise, Petrus Andreas Christensen, Andreas Cappel, Trond Fausa, Minken Fosheim, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Amanda Jean Kvakland,

Dear buddies Junior and Knoester experience a whole new in “Where is Knoester?”. This is the third about the inseparable Norwegian duo, after “Knoester” (2009) and “Knoester & Berkelientje” (2010), based on the books by Anne-Cath. Vestly. The trilogy is set in 1960s Norway and for many adult viewers is therefore primarily a collection of fine reflections on how it used to be. For children – for whom the films are actually intended – the lack of distractions such as computers, mobile phones and the like is also pleasant because they can now fully concentrate on the experiences.

Junior is a boy of about seven years old, who, like most of his peers, has a great imagination. After moving to the countryside in the first part, Junior’s parents are ready to live in a bigger city again. Sadly, Junior has to say goodbye to his girlfriend Tiny, but magnanimous as the girl is she hands her friend Berkelientje over to Junior, because Knoester and Berkelientje belong together. Not long after the move, expansion is on the way: no, not Junior will have a brother or sister: Knoester will be a father! Junior’s dear mother willingly plays the game, but Junior’s father is worried about his son: wouldn’t it be better if Junior had more social contacts? After all, Junior would rather play with Knoester than with the other children in the neighborhood, whom he only feels intimidated by. In fact, Knoester and Junior agree that they will never make other friendships: they have enough of each other. But then Knoester suddenly disappears. Junior does everything he can to find his boyfriend. But sometimes when you are looking for something, you suddenly find something completely different… a baby for example. How will this end?

“Where is Knoester”, like the previous two films, is overflowing with charm. The characters are amiable and never a caricature, something that is sometimes different in other films for this age category. The police officer leans somewhat against that boundary, but does not cross it due to the well-written scenario. The tension and humor are well dosed, and especially every funny comment from Knoester is a bull’s eye. The decoration is sublime (watch Juniors sweater in the opening scene, for example!). You can question the sometimes naive behavior of the parents and the speed with which conflicts are resolved successfully; but that is actually not critical for nothing: this is a children’s and for a children’s film – also for very young children – “Where is Knoester?” ticks all the boxes neatly. Very well.

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