Vincent Ralph reviews the second feature from Grimur Hakonarson.
At first glance the world may not be crying out for a film about Icelandic sheep farmers, but director Grimur Hakonarson’s sophomore effort Rams is a visually stirring and heartfelt examination of brotherly love.
Kiddi (Theodor Juliusson) and Gummi (Sigurour Sigurjonsson) live next door to each other but have barely spoken in four decades, with messages passed between them via sheepdog in what is one of the film’s many magical small details.
When disease strikes their respective flocks the pair are forced to work together as best they can, considering their contrasting approaches to the outbreak, with Kiddi’s drunken outbursts – and hospital delivery via tractor scoop – providing some comic relief in a film that is in essence a family drama with smatterings of dark humour.
The dialogue is sparse but the acting is superb and given their relative solitude it is no surprise the characters communicate as much through barely hidden looks as through words.
Rams is a film that requires patience but there are rich rewards to be had for a feature that is both melancholy and richly textured with an ending that pulls at the heart strings.
Rams is available to buy on Blu-Ray and DVD on Monday May 30 2016.