Wendy Ide skrifar í Screen International um Eiðinn Baltasars Kormáks frá Toronto hátíðinni. Hún segir myndina einskonar blöndu af hörkutólamynd í anda Liam Neeson mynda og innilegs heimilisdrama, en tónninn sé ójafn.
Ide skrifar m.a.:
Appetites for Nordic noir might extend to this picture, however the fact that it is not a conventional thriller means that it doesn’t fit neatly into the easily marketed crime movie bracket. Quality performances and the arresting Icelandic backdrop should mean that the film will find festival berths with relative ease. Theatrical releases might prove more of a challenge, although with positive critical support, the film could connect with a similar audience to that which responded to Kormákur’s Jar City.
The film starts to lose credibility when Finnur takes Ottar hostage, essentially torturing him, but keeping him alive. The central character’s motivation gets rather cloudy at this point. The meticulous preparation would seem to preclude the idea that Ottar is just a desperate father out of his depth, but the messiness and malevolence of his treatment of Ottar is at odds with what we know of Finnur as a doctor and parent. A bizarre chunk of dialogue, in which Ottar reminisces about his childhood fantasies of beating and then raping his own mother, seems stridently at odds with the rest of the film.
Of the supporting cast, Hilmar is particularly strong, bringing a teenaged naivety to Anna’s self-destructive behaviour. And Sigrún Edda Björnsdóttir (*) makes a forceful impression as the detective who suspects that concerned father Finnur might not be all that he appears.
An interesting abrasive score, which sounds as though it was played with hammers and crowbars on industrial machinery, brings a sense of jarring mental anguish to the film which is not always evident in Kormákur’s compelling but low-key performance. Kormákur punctuates the story with shots of Finnur’s triathlon training, which serves the dual purpose of firstly showcasing the brooding half-lit beauty of Iceland’s countryside, and secondly, suggesting an addictive quality to his personality which he shares with his daughter. The recurring motif of botched open heart surgery is a neat metaphor for Finnur’s well-meaning but invasive attempts to save his daughter’s life.
(*Hér er átt við Guðrúnu Sesselju Arnardóttur.)
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