The motel may remind you of Psycho on a dark and stormy night. Murder has been done here, and the corpse is in the restaurant's walk-in deep freeze, ready for collection. But we never really get the creeps, because this film is a zany comedy in which a bevy of colourful characters becomes woven into a devious, artful composition. The two police officers who try to solve the murder are named Rosenkrans and Gyldenstjerne - because the distinctive feature the characters all share is that they gradually play out their very own versions of Shakespearean tragedies including Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.
With its tongue just remaining in its cheek and an unwavering dead-pan expression Motello alternates between moving and surrealistic scenes, all set at the mysterious motel. We recognise the tone from the Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki's laconic tragi-comedies. But Motello is thoroughly imbued with Wikke & Rasmussen's droll, naive humour, particularly when Rasmussen himself plays Rosenkrans, the forensic technician who insists on taking his one-year-old son along to the scene of the crime.
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