The combined forces of powerhouse Danish director May El-Toukhy and actress Trine Dyrholm produce one of the most brutal love triangles to ever hit the screen in Queen of Hearts. No punches are pulled. Some punches get extra emphasis to drive the point home.
Peter (Magnus Krepper) and his wife Anne (Trine Dyrholm) live a nice life with their twin daughters. Anne is strong and savvy. She runs a law firm specializing in abuse cases, saving women and girls from men who prey on them. She’s powerful, brilliant, and driven. Anne generally gets what she wants.
“…Anne finds herself envious of a beautiful young date Gustav brings home.”
Their domestic perfection is disturbed when Peter brings his troubled son from a previous relationship, Gustav (Gustav Lindh) to live with them. Gustav’s mother is failing at keeping him out of trouble. He moves in but is unhappy with the ultimatum he was given of either living with his father or being sent away to boarding school. He acts out, faking a break-in and stealing jewelry and money. Anne easily figures out it was him and confronts him, offering to keep silent about it to extort good behavior from him, which works. He begins to make an effort and relaxes, forges a relationship with the twin girls and seems to be settling into family life. It turns out he is humorous, intelligent, and charming when he’s not committing crimes or being surly at breakfast.
Sex life for the married couple becomes less than ideal. Peter is busy with work and stressed over the situation with Gustav, but when Anne has a few drinks, Anne gets frisky and very frustrated with Peter. While she is a beautiful woman of a certain age, she clearly misses her youth. One evening Anne finds herself envious of a beautiful young date Gustav brings home. She guzzles wine while hearing them have noisy sex in Gustav’s room.
“…an engaging, uncompromising film in bold strokes…”
He is a boyish young man with a sculpted body and dangerously immature disposition. Anne finds this an intoxicating combination. When Peter is away on business, she allows herself to loosen up around Gustav. She asks him about his tattoos, and he winds up giving her a homemade tattoo like one of his. She finds him irresistible and gives in to her desire for him, going to his room and having sex, launching them into a fiery affair.