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DVD Review

DVD cover

Reykjavik Rotterdam


Starring: Baltasar Kormákur, Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, Lilja Nótt Þórarinsdóttir and Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson
Havana Films
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 15
Available 05 March 2012

Down on his luck and having to suffer the drudgery of an everyday life, Kristófer still pays for losing his last job for smuggling. Struggling under mounting debts, Kristófer takes up an offer from an old friend and his partner's ex-boyfriend, Steingrimur, to get his old job back, with one last chance at a big reward, if only he can get away with it...

Reykjavik Rotterdam (2008 - 1 hr, 22 min, 45 sec) is a crime thriller, directed by Óskar Jónasson, who co-wrote the script with Arnaldur Indriðason. The film was the recipient of five awards and nominated for a further two.

Although, you can spot the genre derivation in the film, the overall quality of the acting and directing shows just how far Icelandic film making has come in the last couple of decades. The plot is thought solid enough for an American remake to be in the works. Only time will tell if this is a good or bad thing.

The film stars Baltasar Kormákur (Kristófer) who lives on the fringes of society in Reykjavik; Kormákur has both the rugged looks and screen presence to carry the film. The film's narrative is split into two. On board ship Kristófer is reunited with some of his old smuggling crew as well as a less than impressed ship’s captain, who knows him as a smuggler and so makes it his mission to catch him. Meanwhile, back in Reykjavik, Steingrimur (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson) is putting his own plans into action, which do not have Kristófer’s best intentions at heart.

The two parts of the film are not given even weight, with events back home becoming routine, once the audience is aware of Steingrimur's ulterior motive in getting Kris his old smuggling job back. Kris, meanwhile, gets into a convoluted plot involving a stolen Jackson Pollack, which adds a much needed layer of humour to the film.

Although, it is a little derivative, the film is presented with directorial panache, having also a great leading man, who has the weight to carry much of the film's plot.

The disc sent for review was a screener, with all the problems that this entails. It is next to impossible to say what the quality of the finished product will be. The disc supplied had a pretty good picture, if a little grainy, with only an Icelandic 2.0 audio track, with English subtitles. There were no extras.

In the end, given the price of the DVD, this film is a real steal and well worth a tenner of anyone’s money.


Charles Packer

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