Jacob Petersen (Mads Mikkelsen) dedicates his life to helping street children in India, and when the orphanage he leads may be closed, he receives an interesting offer. A businessman will give him $4 million with conditions. Jacob must return to Denmark and take part in the wedding of the mans daughter; the event is a crucial meeting of past and future, throwing Jacob into the most-intense dilemma of his life.
After the Wedding (Danish: ) is a 2006 Danish drama directed by Susanne Bier, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Sidse Babett Knudsen. The film was a critical and popular success and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but lost out to The Lives of Others.
A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.
Jacob Petersen manages an Indian orphanage. With a small staff, he works as hard as he can to keep the orphanage afloat, and is personally invested in the young charges - in particular, Pramod, a young boy Jacob has cared for since the boys birth. The orphanage has been in danger of collapse for eight years and faces bankruptcy. A Danish corporation offers a substantial donation to maintain the orphanage, with the caveat that Jacob return to Denmark (where he grew up) to personally receive the funds. Apparently the CEO, Jorgen Hannson, wishes to meet Jacob.
Pramod is upset when he learns that Jacob must travel to Copenhagen, and is insistent that Jacob return for Pramods birthday, which is in eight days. Jacob departs for Denmark; once there, he is greeted by a driver and a young man named Christian, and is checked into a luxurious suite at a five-star hotel, paid for by the corporation: quite a contrast from his living conditions in India.
When Jacob meets with Jorgen, Jorgen says he is still considering which project to fund. This surprises Jacob, who had understood that the decision was already made. Jorgens daughter Anna is to marry Christian - the man who accompanied Jacob on his arrival - the next day; Jorgen invites Jacob to the wedding. During the ceremony, Helene, Jorgens wife, notices Jacob, and steals surreptitious glances at him. They are formally introduced during the reception, though both of them have already confirmed each others identity. She was the love of Jacobs life, but he was unfaithful with her best friend, and they broke up twenty years prior.
During Annas speech at the marriage festivities, Jacob learns that she is not the biological daughter of Jorgen. His suspicion that she might be his daughter is confirmed by Helene the next day. Jacob is angry to have only learned of his daughter after two decades. Helene claims that they had tried to track him down in India but were unsuccessful. She is compelled to tell Anna of Jacob now; the two meet and get along rather well, if not a bit awkwardly.
Jorgen stalls the negotiations relating to funding, which distresses Jacob because of his promise to return for Pramods birthday. Jacob attempts to explain the situation to a disappointed Pramod, who cuts their telephone call short. Jorgen discloses that he will create a foundation in Jacobs and Annas name and fund it with a large sum of money. One of the conditions of the contract, would be that Jacob must live in Denmark.
Jacob initially finds himself unable to comply, because he is thinking of Pramod and the other children who have been part of his life for so long. He also resents the implication that he could be bought by Jorgen.
When Jacob storms out, Jorgen runs after him and admits the real motivation: Jorgen is terminally ill and will soon die. Jorgen had brought Jacob to Denmark so he could care for Anna and Helene, as well as Morten and Martin, Jorgens twin sons. Angered at this deception, Jacob hastily leaves for his hotel room. Later, Anna turns up there crying because she has just discovered Christian with another woman. Jacob comforts her, realizing his need for her in his life. He signs the contract with Jorgen with the conditions intact.
Jorgen dies. On Jacobs next visit to India, construction work at the orphanage is well underway. Jacob asks Pramod if he would like to come to Denmark to live with him, but partly because Jacob used to rail against the rich, Pramod decides to stay in his home country.Mads Mikkelsen as Jacob Petersen
Rolf Lassgard as Jorgen Lennart Hansson
Sidse Babett Knudsen as Helene Hansson
de:Stine Fischer Christensen as Anna Louisa Hansson
Christian Tafdrup as Christian
Mona Malm as Mrs. Hansson
Meenal Patel as Mrs. Shaw
Neeral Mulchandani as Pramod
The film premiered in Denmark on 24 February 2006. The film had its North American premiere as a gala at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival on September 15, 2006. The film opened in wide release in the United Kingdom on 9 March 2007. It opened in limited release in the United States on March 30, 2007.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 86% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 95 reviews.
Time magazines Richard Schickel named the film one of the Top 10 Movies of 2007, ranking it at #4, calling it a "dark, richly mounted film". While Schickel saw the film as possibly "old-fashioned stylistically, and rather manipulative in its plotting", he also saw "something deeply satisfying in the way it works out the fates of its troubled, yet believable characters."