Halla becomes a determined environmental activist, but this threatens a long-held hope of hers.Halla becomes a determined environmental activist, but this threatens a long-held hope of hers.Halla becomes a determined environmental activist, but this threatens a long-held hope of hers.
There actually aren't that many true 'action' scenes: most of the screen time is devoted to interactions among the relatively small cast of characters, and some slow-burn suspense. Will Halla keep successfully evading the authorities who are ramping up their search for the saboteur? After all, Iceland is a pretty small country. Her motivation for what she's doing also would not cut very deep unless we had a well rounded picture of her life and the deep connection of her fellow Icelanders with their own land. Her sister Asa (played by the same actress -- and the scenes where Asa and Halla are both on screen are seamlessly done) comes in and out of the story, as does cousin Sveinbjorn (Johann Sigurdarson), a farmer who helps Halla at critical moments. Halla is thrown a major curve when her hoped-for chance to adopt a little orphan girl from Eastern Europe come up suddenly: does she change the course of her life to take it, or let it go and continue her profoundly risky guerilla war? There are also genuinely surprising twists -- essentially bits of luck and timing -- that make us realize that every bit of the backstory and setup in the first half of the movie was put there for a reason.
There are loads of engaging details from beginning to end. In one scene Halla is being hunted by a police drone seeking for her in the countryside near the industrial plant. She shoots it down with her bow and arrow and then stomps it to pieces. (Who wouldn't like to do that with those annoying things, just once?) The oddest touch of all, though, has to do with the music. The edgy background music is played by a small band of musicians who are sometimes actually on screen, standing just to the side of the action -- on roadsides, on city streets, by airport parking lots. Their onscreen presence usually takes place at critical junction points in the story. This eccentric touch takes a further step into the truly surreal when at times Halla actually notices them (!) as if she has stepped outside her own role.
All in all, it's very much worth seeing. A whole lot of Hollywood studio suits who are only after your money could learn from far more genuine films like this one.
- Apr 21, 2019