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The Seagull's Laughter (2001)
"Mávahlátur" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 570 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 7 user | 15 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Post-war provincial Iceland: around 1950, Freyja, who'd been a plump teen, returns from America, a widow with a 20-inch waist, seven suitcases of dresses, and a list of who ever wronged or ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir ...
Freyja
Ugla Egilsdóttir ...
Agga
...
Björn Theódór
...
Magnús
...
Amma
Edda Björg Eyjólfsdóttir ...
Dódó
Bára Lyngdal Magnúsdóttir ...
Dísa
Eyvindur Erlendsson ...
Afi
Guðlaug Ólafsdóttir ...
Ninna (as Guðlaug Elísabet Ólafsdóttir)
Sigurveig Jónsdóttir ...
Kidda
Dilja Mist ...
Emilía (as Diljá Mist Einarsdóttir)
Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir ...
Birna
Jónína Ólafsdóttir ...
Læknisfrúin
...
Mette
...
Hilli
Edit

Storyline

Post-war provincial Iceland: around 1950, Freyja, who'd been a plump teen, returns from America, a widow with a 20-inch waist, seven suitcases of dresses, and a list of who ever wronged or slighted her. She moves in with an aunt and socialist uncle: finding a new husband is high on her agenda, and she's mistrusted by Agga, a pre-teen who's our eyes and ears. The social order and Freyja are more complicated than they seem at first, and so may be her prospects. Class divisions, families ties, pride, the onset of puberty, and the power of Eros sliver the ice. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bronchitis | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A sirály nevetése  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

 
Great film with even better laughter!
12 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the early 1950's, following the death of her American serviceman husband, the tempting and stunning Freya returns to her native Icelandic fishing village, with nothing but old scores to settle. With several trunks of fashionable clothing and astounding tales of life in postwar New York, she turns the town upside down with her glamorous presence. Determined on finding another husband, she moves into the already cramped household of her grandma, insecure young Dodo, mentally challenged Ninna, her grandfather (when he isn't out on a fishing boat), and an intelligent and curious11 year-old Agga. Agga is suspicious to say the least, and sometimes downright nosey, of Freya from the moment she arrives but eventually her distrust gives way to fascination. When Freya has a passionate encounter with a man named Bjorn, an engineer and one of the town's most eligible bachelors, Agga helps iron out the kinks in the escalating romance. The drama that unfolds becomes the talk of the town, which eventually leads to all the women of Freya's extended family into unexpected dark territory. The stunning Icelandic setting gives "The Seagull's Laughter" a distinctly exotic sense of time and place that sets the mood for it's many themes and juicy plot.

"The Seagull's Laughter", directed by Agust Guomundsson, delves into multiple themes throughout the film, along with twists that keep you on the edge of your seat and a few sex scenes that combine to without a doubt keeps the viewers attention.

In my opinion, the many themes presented in "The Seagull's Laughter" are of great importance to every day life. Of these themes, the most important to note is the importance of family. Family is everywhere throughout the film, and the dynamics of this family in particular is what I believe is a main contributor to why I liked this film so much. Freya can be described as dark, mysterious, and one who thinks very highly of herself and she makes it known that her needs come before everyone else in the house. For example, when Freya first arrives at the house, she simply assumed that she would sleep in one of the rooms, and definitely not a couch or pull out bed. After a brief conversation, the grandmother decides to let Freya share young Agga's room. To say the least, Agga was not happy about this decision, which she made known to the rest of the house.

Undoubtedly, Freya is head and shoulders above the rest of the women in the small, Icelandic fishing village when it comes to beauty. Beauty is portrayed in this film in a variety of ways. Freya has a very elaborate and high-class style of fashion that allows her to stand out and become an attraction of sorts to the men of the village. One example that sticks out in my mind is when Freya is working at the pharmacy and drunk men continually come in for one reason beyond buying additional alcohol: to see and speak to the goddess that is Freya. Freya knows that these men are nothing short of drooling over her, and she absolutely, one hundred percent eats it up. Additionally, it is my belief that the she dresses up deliberately to attract attention from men. This speaks to her strong desire to find a husband, more specifically a rich one. For example, one of the first times Freya goes out in public, she wears a stunning dress in a bold shade of red. She seeks out a man, Bjorn, which appears to be of wealth and goes on to make flirtatious conversation with him. After a brief conversation, Bjorn and Freya go on a walk that eventually leads to them making love in the middle of broad daylight. The next day, Freya is eager to share her detailed and inappropriate story of lust and romance with her roommate and cousin, Agga. This shows how egotistical Freya is and her lack of judgment when it comes to censoring stories to young children.

Another interesting part about the film is the setting of the village and the film techniques used throughout the film. The weather seems to be dark and gloomy, which in my opinion is a symbol of the dark and mysterious character, Freya. Throughout the film, I was constantly awaiting Freya's next bold move. One example in particular is when a woman comes into the house ecstatic with anger and sadness regarding her husband's recent infidelity. Freya listens to her story, exclaiming that no man has the right to do that, and that there should be consequences for her actions. Sure enough, Freya sneaks out one night and sets fire to the mans house while he was sleeping, showing no remorse or guilt for her actions and goes on with her daily routine of pushing people around and constant stares from men all over town. An interesting technique that stands out in this film is that when Freya is on camera, her entire body is on screen, capturing her full beauty and presence.

Although this movie portrays a beautiful woman that gets away with literally anything, I still truly enjoyed the film. Rather than hating the film for the very same reason, I believe that anyone who watches this film, particularly men, will learn a valuable lesson when it comes to relationships with women. More specifically, to look past the body of a woman and see their true colors. I truly believe that any adventurous film-goer will enjoy this edge of your seat, dark, and twisted film.


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