Monday, December 28, 2020


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Joe Penna
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smaradottir, Tintrinai Thikhasuk
Genre: Drama, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
"Arctic" is director Joe Penna's feature directorial debut, following a series of short features and some work on TV series. The film follows the story of Overgard, a man who finds himself stranded in the Arctic Circle by himself, following the crash of his plane. He lives in the shell of the crashed vehicle, and adopts a routine of checking for fish and running a distress beacon, in the hopes someone hears it and sends a rescue party. That daily routine proves itself successful when a helicopter comes to his rescue, only to crash, killing the pilot, but leaving its other occupant badly hurt. The woman doesn't speak English, and as her condition worsens, Overgard decides to take on the elements and try to reach a seasonal refuge that according to his calculations, shouldn't be more than a few days of trekking away. As he takes on the challenge, bringing with him his fragile partner, they both face unexpected challenges, which will force Overgard to use all his resourcefulness in order to make sure they both survive.
"Arctic" has a rather straightforward premise: a man alone, surrounded by some of the harshest weather conditions, whose daily surviving routine is thrown into disarray, when his apparent savior, turns out needing to be saved. It's a film that is somewhat enigmatic about Overgard's life, focusing primarily in registering his daily processes to stay alive, and his resourcefulness when faced with life threatening situations. This journal type of observation is one of the strongest aspects of the film, even if it doesn't provide much context into the character itself. The film doesn't try to add substance to the central character, and in a way, it feels like a B-movie exercise, in the sense that it focuses itself on situations, and not so much in the character which inhabits it. That being said, the film is effective in drawing this scenario, and benefits from a great performance from the always reliable Mads Mikkelsen. The cinematography from Tomas Orn Tomasson is equally strong, making this film an entertaining endeavor worth watching.