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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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Wealthy, aging patriarch Thordur assembles his scattered heirs to discuss the future of the family fishery. But bringing everyone together unleashes a storm of long-repressed sexual abuse, lingering suspicions, sibling rivalries and incestuous passions. Ultimately, it's a heartless battle between the past and the future that culminates in a night of explosive rage. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
It's great to go into a film knowing nothing about it before hand. This was the case when I saw "The Sea." While you can easily see it was adapted from a play the themes are consistent and handled cinematically for the most part.
The first thing that is apparent is that the casting in this film is ridiculously perfect. No actor feels out of place. Speaking of which neither are any of the scenes. It is rare to watch such a multi-character film and never be left confused about who's who. All the characters are sharply defined and they all illustrate the struggle amongst family, between the generations and the joining or avoidance of a globalized world.
The scenes in the pool and the scenes with the black sheep are accessible symbolism that serve comedic or story functions such that the audience is never lost. Another amazing thing is that even though all the characters have undesirable traits they're all funny and identifiable. The only place the film falters in anyway is that the father has a speech that's a little too long at the end. With the way the film cuts the framing of the story is very surprising.
The acting all around is great but those who stand out are Gunnar Eyjólfsson, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Hélène de Fougerolles, Guðrún Gísladóttir and Elva Ósk Ólafsdóttir.
Whenever watching a foreign film, especially one from a culture I'm not that familiar with, I always look for two things: 1. does it seem indigenous and not overly influenced by Hollywood? 2. While being indigenous does it communicate a universal message and/or theme. "The Sea" succeeds in both cases.
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