Philip (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Erik (Espen Klouman-Hoiner) are best friends. They're both aspiring novelists. And at the beginning of Reprise, they both stand, hesitant, on the street in front of a mailbox, and put their manuscripts in. And the camera follows their hopes and aspirations into the darkness, and the film rockets forward, a narrator detailing the reception of their novels and what that does to their lives, who finds acclaim and who does not, the setbacks and triumphs of each of their careers, with jump cuts and film clips and rambling elaborations and bizarre left-field concepts and rapid-fire narration piled one atop the other. And then we're back in the here-and-now, as Phillip and Erik stand in front of the postal box, looking slightly abashed, wondering what exactly it is they're supposed to do next. Maybe what we saw was a dream, or a lie; we're going to have to wait and see what happens next, just like they have to.
Directed by Joachim Trier, Reprise is one of the most brilliant, heartfelt, exciting and exuberant feature film debuts in recent memory, and works not just as a demonstration of Trier's substantial talents but also as a superbly-made collaboration. Trier co-wrote alongside Eskil Vogt, and the film's ensemble (including Lie, Klouman-Hoiner and Viktoria Winge as Phillip's gamine girlfriend Kari) is also superb, down to seemingly-minute supporting roles that are nonetheless perfectly cast, like Eindreide Eisvold's all-seeing but hardly certain dry tone as the narrator.