Updated: Jan 11
Directed by: #HallvardBræin
“When the brakes slam on his wedding, Roy accepts a challenge from a new foe to race for his runaway bride at the iconic Nürburgring track in Germany.”
Written by Christopher Grøndahl and Kjetil Indregard, Asphalt Burning presents an interesting storyline of a race for love and trust after Roy (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) crosses boundaries with his future wife’s friend, Robyn (Alexandra Maria Lara,) a night before his wedding. Both sides of this engagement are heavily involved with racing; incredibly enthusiastic about a shared passion for the thrill of speed.
Despite this storyline being something very unique, personally I’m not sure if it is truly uniquely enthralling from start to finish. Because it is something so offbeat from what one might expect from a film that revolves around car racing, at times scenes can feel somewhat awkward and halted — almost as if the characters themselves don’t know what road in the story they are supposed to turn to. Although, to put any such criticism aside, I do have to praise the writers for such a distinctive plot as the entire cast and crew brilliantly worked with each other to showcase this story in an enjoyable way; I did find myself chuckling a few times throughout which lifted my spirits on a dull afternoon.
Looking at the acting in a separate light from how to contributes to the final product as a whole, it is obvious that the cast thrived off of each other’s involvement in the film. This creates a wonderfully welcoming environment for the audience to step into. Viewers are welcomed into this family with open arms, even when the film’s setting doesn’t directly include viewers by, for example, breaking the forth wall. The connections between the characters are completely natural; it doesn’t feel as though the cast exaggerates any emotion that they show towards one another. I always find it quite exciting to walk into a positive space like this as an audience member due to the fact that the factor of immersion in the film is amplified.
The cinematography of Asphalt Burning is by far the most impressive aspect for the film in its entirety. Cinematographer Askild Edvardsen and director Hallvard Bræin display a great sense of partnership through the cinematographic elements. The opening scene is my favourite; it is a long shot that pans around a crowded party setting, introducing each character onscreen, and actually building characterisation from the get-go as viewers have an opportunity to see each character’s personality break through as they are freely celebrating. There are also scenes where viewers are expertly put in the driver’s seat — these sections of the film are stunningly introduced as an exhilarating virtual ride. In less specific terms, every scene has a basis of vibrant and perfectly smooth shots that immediately attract the eye, establishing a visually captive reason for focus as a viewer.
Asphalt Burning is an excellent watch for those who like to seek adventure through films involving car racing. The action seen in racing sequences is electrifying, especially paired with the talent in cinematography that was previously mentioned.
I encourage you to add Asphalt Burning to your Netflix watchlist; keep the engine revving for a day when the sky is dark and you are just in desperate need of some light throughout lockdown!