In regard to the real-life survival story and the extraordinary feat of the Icelandic fisherman, Guðlaugur "Gulli" Friðþórsson, Baltasar Kormákur's "The Deep" faithfully recreates the maritime tragedy of the ageing vessel, Breki, when on 11 March 1984 capsized near the Westman Islands, in the notoriously rough waters of the unforgiving North Atlantic. Among a small crew of six men, the cheerful, overweight, and utterly unassuming Gulli summons the strength to fight the omnipotent forces of nature, swimming back home for six hours in frigid and deadly waters. But, how on earth did he manage to cheat an impending deep hypothermia? Was it a matter of sheer determination, pure chance, or was it a case of an unfathomable mystery?Written by
The official submission of Iceland to the Best Foreign Language Film for the 85th Academy Awards 2013. See more »
The events in the movie take place in 1984. When the main protagonist, the only survivor of the boat accident, undergoes a test in the Navy Hospital in London, one of the doctors introduces the other three participants of the test as members of the SBS, the Special Boat Services, a UK special forces unit. The name by which the doctor refers to the unit is incorrect. In 1984, this UK special forces unit in question was called the Special Boat Squadron. It was renamed to Special Boat Service (and not "Services") only three years later, in 1987. See more »
This film has the air of a docu-drama, and I believe it sticks closely to real events. The drama is gripping though - it's an amazing story of survival and the gruelling ordeal which the fisherman Gulli went through in the North Atlantic. Amazingly, it was almost light-hearted and there is no lack of humour although it was a tragic story as well.
I was wondering in advance whether this would be a frightening film, but it wasn't. Every person portrayed appeared real and it was easy to identify with them. The story of Gulli's miraculous survival, followed by the reaction of the media and scientists kept my interest.
I'm a scientist and so I was fascinated by the implications of the physiology of this man and how he adapted to extreme exposure to cold temperatures. I presume that other people who find sub-zero temperatures easy to deal with may also have adaptations, and science needs to find out more. No one can know how they will react until they are in a life or death situation. Gulli's matter-of-fact response was incredible.
The other thing which impressed me was the authenticity of the settings, the scenery of the sea and the Icelandic islands. It was beautifully shot. Authentic news footage of the eruption of the volcano on the Westman Islands was included, and new scenes with the actors blended seamlessly with that. I have been to Iceland and watched films about that eruption, so I recognised this. I've also walked on a lava field on Iceland, but I was fortunate to be wearing walking boots. I can't imagine walking on that surface barefoot for hours.
I was captivated by this film and I recommend it - very inspiring and informative on so many levels.
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