The tragicomic story of lone rebel Boddi Steingrimsson who lives in a small town in Northern Iceland. Boddi hates materialistic modern society in its entirety and on his blog-page he ... See full summary »
The tragicomic story of lone rebel Boddi Steingrimsson who lives in a small town in Northern Iceland. Boddi hates materialistic modern society in its entirety and on his blog-page he comically criticizes everything and everyone. Before long he has become an outlaw in his own hometown, just like his viking hero, Grettir. After a series of dramatic mishaps, he snaps and goes riding down south to the big city on his sturdy steed Nietzsche. He's got a gun in his pocket. He's ready for the revolution. Written by
Decent Icelandic film, starts of well but loses its lustre halfway through
Rokland tells the story of Bodvar, a high-school teacher, poet and Icelandic man of spirit stuck in a small, dead-end town, surrounded by the crass moral, spiritual and intellectual decadence of a society dominated by materialism, greed and Americanization. Tragedy and comedy ensue as Bodvar is fired from his job for trying to introduce his students to their saga heritage, struggles with the incomprehension of the locals and his family, impregnates a local past- her-prime woman and is scorned by the young, beautiful girl he is in love with.
The problem with the film is that it tries too hard to be many things at once: comedy, satire, social critique and tragedy. The film starts off well and has many funny scenes and moments, and we, the audience, learn to appreciate and love the quirkiness, soulfulness and moral integrity of Bodvar. Half-way through, alas, the film takes a sharp U-turn and becomes a serious, emotional, surreal drama laced with social critique, angst and violence. It doesn't quite manage to pull it any of it off, and the whole thing comes across as heavy-handed and overly dramatic. It would have been better to stick with dark comedy.
Overall, worth watching if you're into Icelandic films; it's a decent addition to the Icelandic film flora, and definitely above-par for the country's film-making in the past decade, if only thanks to Olafur Darri's compelling portrayal of Bodvar and the sharp, funny caricatures of some well-known personality types in Icelandic society.
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