Original Title: Hrútar
Country: Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Poland
Director: Grímur Hákonarson
Genre: Comedy, Drama
20.01.2020: This review was first published on 17.05.2018 and is being updated for a more complete review, together with the publishing of the YouTube Version.
Hello! Welcome to Ulven Reviews!
Rams, or in its native idiom, Hrútar. It’s an Icelandic film directed by Grímur Hákonarson, telling the tale of two estranged brothers, living on the same farm when a sheep disease threat their livelihood and passion.
World Cup Historic
The Iceland National Team was founded in 1912, but since 2016 they reached unprecedented heights, classifying for their first Euro and World Cup. In the Euro, they even reached the quarter-finals.
In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Iceland finished last in the group, after a draw against Argentina, and two losses, against Nigeria and Croatia. And now, they failed to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020.
Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) is a sheep farmer, unmarried and in his sixties, living in the same farm as his alcoholic brother, Kiddi (Theódór Júlíusson). However, the two brothers don’t talk to each other for forty years.
After winning a prize, it’s found that one of Kiddi’s rams has scrapie, a transmissible and fatal sheep disease, so every sheep in the region has to be killed and their barns disinfected.
Gummi decides to kill his own sheep and clean everything before the killing team arrives, but he hides some girls and a boy in the basement. So he saved them from death but threatening the whole country.
My watchlist has more than 400 titles, and in the past, it had more than 500, lots of these films and series are there for many years. In the middle of these neglected movies was Rams, in the list for more than three years, I guess.
I don’t even know what brought it to my attention at first, to put it in my watchlist, but when I was looking for some Icelandic film to feature in this series and spotted it forgotten in my watchlist, for such a long time, I knew it was the one.
The first act is quite funny because of the peculiarity of the movie. Later it becomes a sad and melancholic drama, the type of film you watch and feel miserable during and after watching it.
The film has a clear three-act structure and is short, with one hour and 33 minutes, an ideal length for the movie without dragging it for too long. I can see that some less patient people may find the movie boring anyway because of the movie’s slow pace nature.
The brothers’ proximity and care with their sheep contrast with the distance between one another. The only way the two communicate with each other is through notes, carried back and forth by the farm’s dog, Sórni (played by Panda).
The performances of the two brothers are decent, but we have a lot more to see from Gummi, who is the actual protagonist, who we accompany throughout the whole movie.
I am vegan now, but I wasn’t at the time I watched the movie, and even though I always liked and cared for animals, now I do much more. This film made me feel for the sheep, they’re characters, just like any person.
I loved the score, it’s beautiful, and its melancholy matches the tone of the movie, its coldness, and the desolation of the setting, the vast, and isolated farm where the brothers live.
The cinematography is also amazingly beautiful. The colors are mostly blue, with the green of the fields of grass surrounding the farm and covering the mountains, until everything becomes white, covered by snow.
Inside the house look really appealing as well, especially a little corner by the window, where Gummi eats. The wall got some exotic patterns that remind me of old decorations.
Summarizing my perspective, the acting is solid, the cinematography, and score are marvelous, have a decent length, and made feel for sheep. All those qualities overweight the lack of action so I give it 9 Moons.
I couldn’t let these images out, so little gallery: