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Kaldaljós
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Reviews & Ratings for
Cold Light More at IMDbPro »Kaldaljós (original title)

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A must see!

9/10
Author: Ragnar Ragnar from London, England
9 August 2005

Of all the films I've seen at this year so far, Oddsson's poetic and compelling film (an adaptation he planned for 15 years) has impressed me the most--but that could largely be due to the fact that I encountered it with absolutely no expectations. It's possible that it has minor flaws (in the pacing of its third act, for example) but these are merely quibbles against a film that is unusually insightful regarding childhood imagination, and such themes as the role of art in emotional journeys and the ambiguous relationship between Man and Nature. It's based on an Icelandic novel that begins with a sensitive young boy who navigates life with his close-knit family in a fishing village by sketching abstract images merging the people he loves with portentous fears. Later, the boy grows up and finds himself emotionally crippled on account of a tragic past. However, instead of telling the story linearly, as the novel does, the film expertly juxtaposes the past and present throughout, drawing complex parallels between them and culminating with the dramatic climax of both eras simultaneously. Gorgeously shot on location with the Scandinavian light and warm interiors in counterpoint, the film is a thematically nuanced and emotionally powerful character study. Keep an eye out for it.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Well crafted, intimate childhood scenes

Author: carnason from United States
27 February 2005

As I was watching this film I realized once again how lucky we are to have other sources of film than Hollywood. The plot repeatedly comes to a stop, in order to allow the full development of a moment - a child listening to the sounds of a new born baby in the night, the long wait by fisherman families at a dock for the return of a capsized boat (along with the discovery of who perished) - the repeated view of the great mountain above the village, the perilous threat of the sea, the family breakfast and bedroom moments, ... the short telephone call to his love, announcing that he was joining his life to hers. So much interior development. Which is where it occurs, right? The film passes a key test of quality for me - one week after viewing I am still thinking and remembering it with interest and pleasure.

Caveat: I'm Icelandic myself (i.e., my Grandfather was) - but wouldn't have a problem panning a poor quality Icelandic film.

Calvin Arnason

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films I have ever seen

10/10
Author: BeyondTheVeil333 (BeyondTheVeil333@yahoo.com) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
23 April 2004

Kaldaljos (Cold Light) is a psychological drama about a man (Grimur) with a tragic past and problems with a current relationship with his art teacher (Linda.) But it is so much more than that. It is a truly beautiful film, which has amazing scenery and shows you the nature of the human psyche. I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you enjoy icelandic films and have seen Falcons (also with Ingvar Sigurdsson.) I saw it last week at the Philadelphia Film Festival, and I was truly amazed. Plus, the directer (Hilmur Oddsson) was there and he did a Q&A. It was very exciting. See it if you have the chance, especially if it comes back to the US!!!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Its not an action flick; so don't rate it as such

7/10
Author: ggi from United States
2 December 2007

Old Icelandic believes and superstitions are not, as a previous reviewer has alleged, the main plot or part of the story told in this film. They are rather used as a medium of telling a tale of an old tragedy mixed with a present day love story, a story of a tragedy survivor conquering his past. Truly premonitions are not an uncommon superstition in Iceland but unfortunately neither are tragedies such as the one that befalls.

Its a dark and gloomy film with a well fitting soundtrack; all to add on to the viewers experience of the plot lines happenings. Sure it may seem a little slow in todays day and age, it is nothing like Die Hard 4,5 or 6 except for the out of character and completely unrelated to Icelandic superstition; the flying Witch.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Dreams are the color indigo

8/10
Author: torva-anser from Singapore
22 February 2006

When a young artist gets told to carefully discern what is imagination and what is reality, a fiery mind is set ablaze and (in the movie) subtly rages to decipher the Self, and in turn, gain foresight into the future.

Cold Light describes a young boy's epiphany into rediscovery - once primarily afflicted by only the most blatant of life's moments, he realizes that is takes an art lesson for him to appreciate what is subdued and gain clarity. This analogy you might be able to notice in the style of his art pieces, where mountains once dominated, he grows up, into clear skies; with the guidance of a mother and teacher figure.

It is through the extraordinary that he will be delivered into the ordinary.

Abstract? Watch the film for clarity.

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9 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A melancholic film about a superstitious Icelander

5/10
Author: watchhawk from New York then Reykjavik
13 January 2005

This is a film that describes a rather common superstition in Iceland. A good portion of the Icelandic people believe in mysterious sort of people that can foresee the future in one way or another. These people get some kind of premonition about harmful events or tragic deaths that are bound to happen. This film is the story of one such individual who is an intelligent loner from childhood and starts to draw odd pictures of people floating out of their houses in their beds. He sees an old woman flying on her broom and later gets acquainted with her since she was just a lonesome grumpy widow that lived close by. The boy grows up and is very peculiar, shown as melancholic and apathetic adult for most parts. He seems to suffer from a "post-traumatic stress syndrome" but still manges to charm his art teacher. The pace of the story is dreadfully slow and affect is gloomy, sometimes totally displaced and mostly boring. For those who believe in such crap as telepathy or mystical gifted persons with pre-disaster premonitions this movie is a godsend. For those skeptics out there who are walking on the earth, and not flying on broomsticks - do not waste your time and money watching this close to intellectually empty film. For those who have not had enough of watching steep Icelandic fjords - take a look and enjoy! Out of respect to some of the fairly good acting and cinematography I give it 5/10.

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