In 1914, just after of Franz Ferdinand's assassination that eventually caused World War I, a steamship approaches a desolate island on the edge of the Antarctic Circle, where a young nameless man is poised to take the post of weather observer, to live in solitude at the ends of the earth for an entire year until the arrival of his replacement. For the next twelve months, his entire world will consist of a deserted cabin, the surrounding sea, and dangerous strange beings that he discovers are sharing the island.Written by
The protagonist, a Brit, uses a Russian Mosin-Nagant military rifle he would have been unable to obtain at the time.
It may have been used as a stand-in for the similarly looking British Lee-Metford rifle, a likely choice to equip someone in his position. See more »
Another That Got Away!
Cold Skin is another example of that type of movie that gets many of the production fundamentals right, so that initially you'll think you're in for a good sitting with an understated, underrated film, only to realise well into the screening that you've been dudded.
Being set in an isolated unforgettable location, whose rugged scenery is beautifully captured by cinematographer Daniel Aranyó, Cold Skin is another of that growing sub-genre of films, which feature a short cast list; in this instance, essentially just three lead characters, who are well cast and give fine, convincing performances.To be sure there are plenty of other characters seen, but I think CGI was generally employed to feature them. It should be noted too that the special effects in a clearly low to medium budget release are extremely functional.
The main problem with the film is the rather baffling storyline, which unfortunately in this oceanic-inspired tale, is filled with holes, that appear big enough to sail a boat through. And this in itself is strange as many of the other armchair critics of this film claim it is almost adapted to the most exact detail from the award winning novel by Albert Sanchez Pinol.
Set as it is in 1914 around the outbreak of World War 1 hostilities, I can well accept that the film as a whole represents an example of the futility and losses involved in waging war. But one has a right to ask how this war began? Why do the creatures continue to fight a war in which they always seem to be suffering significant losses? What do they hope to achieve? Why are they actually losing when we see they are so much quicker, agile and both athletically and aquatically inclined than their two solitary human opponents? Why are they supposedly collectively inhibited by daylight, when we see Aneris being untroubled by the day. Speaking of Aneris why does she continue to hang around Gruner, when she is so obviously being used and abused? There is some throw away line late in the piece about him freeing her from a net or something, but this film (and by inference the book) suffers maddeningly from a lack of background details.
A number of the film's staunch advocates I see, are suggesting you need to read the book to (possibly) get those sort of questions answered. Such comments are quite bizarre. An adapted film should exist and be reasonably understood on its own merits, not dependent on reading some previous book to be fully comprehended. Cold Skin as it stands therefore is just like another unhooked, but inviting big fish, swimming off into the impenetrable ocean depths, after playing teasingly for a brief time with our baited lines.
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