02-07-2011

Undercurrent / Brim

Perspectives
Dir. Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson

It is rewarding to observe that the invigorating winds of political correctness have penetrated the territories which were earlier off limits to them. Like, for example, a frail Icelandic fishing vessel where the sturdy crew should be sure that a woman on board forebodes trouble. But far from it, the gloomy Icelandic fishermen do not throw the newly arrived lady into the first wave, like their less reserved colleagues would probably do. Moreover, when the skipper of the rusty boat bearing the dramatic name «Undercurrent», decides to replace one of the crew, who tragically left them during an earlier expedition, with his troubled niece, they do not show any particularly emotional reaction. Though, as this hot pussy avows, she has slept with half the village before boarding the ship. It is not quite that the presence of a woman strains the complicated (as it inevitably transpires) relations in the fishing crew, which gradually succumbs to claustrophobia and loneliness. The employee of the department of fish scraping toils as hard as men do and in the evenings stares at the TV set watching the porn blockbuster «Sperminator», kept on board as a preventive measure. The woman as a representative of a different world and a different life is not so much a catalyst as an observer of the disintegration of the male circle. Then misfortune really strikes: lights go out, some one gets hurt, some one else chooses to become fish fodder. But on the whole, the woman has nothing to do with it.

The best parts of the movie are the inspiring shots of the rusty boat swaying on the waves, the atmospheric scenes from the fishermen’s everyday life, contrastive night shots of the flock of sea-gulls vainly hovering over the torn net which is no longer suitable for catching fish and the transparent daytime shots of the same sea-gulls who are allowed to feed on fish insides. The colors of this exotic spectacle are a pleasure to look at. It must be noted that color patches in this movie are more interesting than the dramatic structure (the group scriptwriter of the film are members of the Reykjavík theatre company Vestuport, who also act in the movie) with flashbacks inserted in the wrong places and seemingly normal characters performing unmotivated antics.

Stas Tyrkin