The great adventure of 11-year-old Mik starts when he has to leave his home in search of a new one. Along the way, he learns about whales, fishing, friends and love. Forced to flee from the authorities, his friends join on an Ice Dragon.
With the heavy responsibility of keeping house for his former heavy-metal drummer and currently jobless alcoholic father, the eleven-year-old motherless boy, Mik, must depend on his own strength without any help from his older brother. But to make matters worse, just as Mik has finally adjusted to a new life with his aunt and a motley crew of good friends, the Swedish social services will have another bad surprise for the young orphan. Can a little boy alone turn his life around?Written by
Isdraken fits into the youth adventure genre. Unlike most Swedish films, the action is fast paced, which gives it an appeal for young audiences. The film can be viewed as an adventure, but for those who enjoy looking for metaphors and hidden meanings, they are there as well. The Swedish director, Martin Högdahl, has managed to make his film equally appealing to both viewers seeking pure entertainment and those willing to invest some thought into the story and its messages.
Fiery metal riffs and melodic rock ballads greatly enhance the film's atmosphere. The score is used mainly as a characterization device – certain songs are associated with the appearance of a character or an event.
The narrative calls to mind the 2003 film starring Haley Joel Osemont Second Hand Lions and the 2010 film Hesher. But it is by far more suitable for family viewing than Hesher and much more upbeat than Second Hand Lions.
None of the characters is particularly memorable, however the performance of Philip Olsson (for whom the role of Mik in Isdraken is a debut) does impress as he manages to convey a lot of personality into his character.
As with most Swedish films, viewers will be treated to bright colors, and widescreen photography that emphasizes the nature of the country (snow, ice, forests and still more snow).
Surprisingly, I ended up satisfied, though my expectations for an emotional drama were not met. I don't hesitate to recommend the film – especially if you intend to show it to or see it with youngsters.
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