We have seen recurring films before, Groundhog day being the primary go-to. But the Swedish born writer and director Johannes Nyholm (“The Giant”, “Puppetboy (Short)”) has taken it to another level.
Meet Leif Edlund (“Operation Ragnarok”, “The Giant”) and Ylva Gallon (“Angelby (TV)”, “Pure”). A couple who are on holiday with their young daughter when Ylva suddenly falls ill. She is throwing up and her face turns red, like Freddy Kruger as Edlund puts it.
The trio are flown to the nearest hospital for observation and an overnight stay. But in the morning, tragedy strikes when their young daughter will no longer wake up.
At this point, we see the first of our cutaways as we are faced with a puppet show featuring three rabbits, one tragically not making it through the day.
Fast forward three years and the couple are now racing towards a camping trip, the air between them thick with something that is no longer love and happiness.
Edlund decides he’s going to park-up and camp anywhere he pleases thank-you very much and turns off down a dirt track and sets up camp in the middle of nowhere.
Fast forward to the morning and our first reset point. Gallon is watching the mosquitos outside of the tent, needing a pee and wondering if it’s worth the risk. She wakes Edlund and asks if she can pee inside the outer shell, Edlund tells her to get a grip.
Whilst outside she spots a white cat in the woods, watching it she misses the three random strangers suddenly appear behind her.
Peter Belli (“What’s Wrong With This Picture”, “Truly Human”) is the ringmaster of the trio, in a white suit carrying a cane, Katarina Jakobson (“The Music Box (Short)”) is the strange woman whilst Morad Baloo Khatchadorian (“Skills”, “Dipsomania (Short)”) is the simple giant carrying a dead dog.
They wreak havoc on the couple, sadistically tormenting them, and not exactly being gentle with it. As the tormenting reaches a crescendo, we reset, back to Gallon telling Edlund she needs to pee.
The difference each time is that Edlund can remember what happens. At first, he thinks it’s just a bad dream. But when it happens again, and again, and again, he tries to get ahead of the evil trio, to break the cycle.
Nyholm has created a freaky movie that is as fascinating to watch as it is frustrating. The frustration comes from Edlund’s character and how long it takes him to grasp what’s going on.
On the one hand he’s decisive and forthright, whilst on the other he’s a quivering wreck and not sure of himself. Gallon is herself throughout, she seems distant, unsure, frustrated at having to carry on.
The trio of tormentors are each their inner demons, manifested into something horrible but pushing the couple to face truths they may not want to, but must in order to move forward.
Koko-di Koko-da is an interesting film and is worth the watch for the rabbit-based puppet show alone, which I could have happily watched a lot more of. It’s as crazy as we’ve come to expect from the Scandinavians, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.