(Review originally written at 16 December 2007)

I'm fond of Scandinavian movies but I have just never been a too great fan of Icelandic movie. Yes, I know Iceland is not really Scandinavia, even though it officially is on paper. Let's say it's more of a semi-Scandinavian country. Just like in every other Scandinavian movie, this movie tries to take a realistic approach, with slow moving scenes and lots of different characters and build up involved. Only difference is that there is some more quirkiness added to it all. Most of the characters and some of the events seem definitely weird ones. In that regard Icelandic movies are somewhat similar to Danish films, that often also features quirkiness. Perhaps no coincidence, since Icelandic used to be a part of Denmark for a long time, until 1944. Now, nothing wrong with some quirkiness but if it plays a too big part in the movie it goes at the expense of the credibility and the realism of the whole movie. In my opinion this is the case with "Nói albínói".

It's obvious that the main character is living a very boring life, due to the place he is living at. But why bother us with it? We see how all of his days are always basically the same and that there is absolutely nothing for him to do. It's a good portrayal but it just isn't the most engaging or interesting one to watch as a viewer. Like I said, it's a good portrayal and definitely a well made movie, with all of the right intentions but that doesn't always make a great movie as well, when the movie doesn't have the most engaging story.

And then the ending. Sigh, well I don't know, I definitely can understand the film-makers motivations and intentions of it but it nevertheless comes rather sudden and isn't in context with the rest of the movie. It gives an already 'depressing' movie an even more depressing ending.

I'm probably sounding too harsh, since I definitely enjoyed watching "Nói albínói" but in some cases an enjoyable good watch isn't the same as a great movie.

The atmosphere is definitely good. Due to the nature conditions the movie also has a very special kind of lighting that adds to the movie its special atmosphere. It's a very cold feeling and bleak looking movie, that often uses empty long shots of the empty snowy streets and white covered small houses, with little of valuables in it.

There is nothing wrong with making a little depressive humble movie, with some much required comical undertones, that doesn't really have a story, in general movie terms, but is more a sort of an observation of life. But to devote an entire movie to the boring life of a gifted (which is mentioned but never really shown throughout the movie, except him being able to solve any kind of puzzles quickly. We only really get to see him as a lazy person who doesn't bother with anything.). Icelandic teenager is perhaps a bit too much of one thing.

The sort of movie that is still good and fun enough to watch it once, when there really is nothing else on.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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