Jason Gorber hjá Twitchfilm sparar ekki lýsingarorðin í umsögn sinni um Þresti Rúnars Rúnarssonar. Hann segir myndina vera eina af sárafáum uppgötvunum ársins og undirstriki áhrifamátt kvikmyndanna. „Hún hefur ríkulega merkingu og vekur sterkar tilfinningar, listrænn andi svífur yfir en einnig ögrun hrollvekjunnar.“
Gorber segir meðal annars:
Sparrows , then, isn’t just a terrific coming-of-age tale, it’s one that feels even more impressive given the baggage that its narrative must overcome. Riding a wave of exceptional cinema coming from tiny Iceland, Rúnar Rúnarsson’s film feels as fresh and exotic as its rural setting, while being as universal and provocative as any exemplar of world class cinema.
Atli Oskar Fjalarsson plays Ari, the lead, and he’s a revelation. Using micro expressions and subtle use of physical action he reminds of another Nordic giant Mads Mikkelsen. The film’s effect requires Fjalarsson to evoke to audiences all the turmoil, often without saying a word, and without his excellence the film would frankly be a disaster. Supporting characters are also strong, but it’s Fjalarsson’s take that most assuredly feels like a discovery of a rising, remarkable talent.
The same could be said of Rúnarsson – following up on a number of shorts (including one that comprises much of this film’s finale) the writer/director manages to elicit performances from a wide variety of actors to create a decidedly cohesive whole. Small visual flourishes, such as a plane flying dwarfed by a mountain, appearing as another sea bird riding the thermals, are peppered throughout a work that otherwise appears almost documentary like. Yet when the film turns intimate we get exquisite close-ups tenderly realized. Mirrors and doorways play a major role as well, emphasizing the act of looking at something distant and removed yet familiar.
Sparrows proves to be one of those handful of real discoveries that one makes during the year that reminds of the power of cinema. It’s rich in meaning and powerful in emotion, the spirit of an art film with the provocation of a horror movie. At its core it’s a deeply philosophical rumination of the chasms between numerous dichotomies – town and country, youth and adulthood, love and lust, peace and turmoil. Finding an accommodation for these divides is perhaps no surprise given that its set in a country born of continents slowly being forced apart. Under the pacific façade there’s rage boiling, yet equally there are moments where the right thing to do is done out of genuine tenderness.
Sparrows soars, with Rúnarsson’s breathtaking debut that’s the equal of almost any great film this year. With intoxicating visuals and unforgettable performances, this is an absolute top notch work.
Sjá nánar hér: Reykjavik 2015 Review: SPARROWS Soars