Directed by | Grímur Hákonarson,
Produced by | Grímar Jónsson
Written by | Grímur Hákonarson
Starring | Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Theódór Júlíusson
Run Time | 92 minutes
Certificate | 15
Plot | Estranged sheep farming brothers Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theódór Júlíusson) are forced to set aside a forty year grudge when scrapie outbreaks in their secluded valley.
Review | Rams is a curious film that starts off as quirky and dry-humoured before morphing into an affecting drama worthy of anyone’s time.
Crucial to Rams success is the totally believable performances from the protagonists, who are utterly convincing as curmudgeonly, stubborn brothers. When one brother breaks a window at the other’s house, it makes total sense that the injured party hand writes an invoice for the window, sending it to his brother via sheepdog.
Despite frosty sentiments such as the above, they still carry a fraternal bond – this is evidenced no better than on the number of occasions that Gummi makes sure Kiddi is okay when the latter hits the bottle. Sigurjónsson – the nominal lead – is particularly impressive in these scenes, though that shouldn’t take anything away from Júlíusson.
Another key reason that Rams is so good is writer/director Grímur Hákonarson, who draws upon his experience as a documenteer to create a very realistic feature. It’s through the script that Hákonarson manages to balance the sensitivity of a very real issue with keeping the audience entertained and interested; moments of dark comedy punctuate many scenes, without ever threatening to make Rams and out-and-out comedy.
Combine Hákonarson’s input with the excellent cinematography and score from Sturla Brandth Grøvlen and Atli Örvarsson respectively, and the audience is left with a elegantly rendered drama, set in a beautifully sparse part of the world.
The Verdict | Rams is an expertly crafted affecting drama, spiced up with sprinklings of dark humour.