Sunday was movie night again!
Aside from my boulimic attendances to the Montréal World Film Festival, I don’t go to the movie theater very often. It is very rare that I’ll go twice within a couple of weeks, but I couldn’t take a chance to miss Arctic, so I went to the cinema again, two days ago.
Like my last movie review of Border, I won’t be able to tell you much about the story, but for different reasons.
Arctic, in short, is the story of the only survivor of a plane crash in the Arctic, that has set a tight and disciplined routine for himself, to keep sane and alive, until help finds its way to him. Unexpected events force him to consider leaving his relatively safe camp, to seek rescue.
Filmed in Iceland, the sceneries are absolutely breathtaking, though I never thought once “Ohhh I’d like to be there!” (ok, I did think that, but it’s just because I would have been in that snow desert with Mads… Alone with Mads… Hopefully having to share body warmth… LOL)
The whole movie rests on Mads Mikkelsen’s shoulders, and aside a couple of scenes, he is the only character of the story. So if, for any reason, you don’t like Mads as an actor, don’t even bother thinking about checking Arctic out. Same goes if you need lots of Hollywood blockbuster action, with guns, and explosions, and the like!
Arctic is a movie that trusts the audience’s intelligence. The soundtrack music is almost unexistent, there is no narrative voice to walk us through the character’s thoughts, and he’s not the kind of guy who likes talking to himself. To be honest, I made a detour to see the movie in English, but there is so little said, that I bet you could see it in any language, and it wouldn’t make a difference!
But it works. Totally. Mads performance it absolutely flawless and I understand why it is one of Cannes’ Festival selections this year. I already knew that Mr Mikkelsen was a master at the art of delivering the whole rainbow of emotions with his expressive face, and Arctic was the perfect challenge for his talent.
There are survival movies galore, but I never saw one quite like Arctic. It is a tale about the amazing force that we all have within. This surviving instinct that kicks in when almost all hope is gone. It is a reminder that sometimes you have to choose between climbing up and down a mountain, or taking the long way around it… But you just can’t give up!