Shorn the sheep
Palace Como - Sunday 10 April 2016, 12:15pm December 2015, 7:00pm
Running time: 92m
Classification: M (Coarse language and nudity)
Release date: 24/12/15
Rating: 7/10 (ME 4/5, DP 3/5)
Gummy (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and his brother Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) live on adjoining farms tending their flocks of sheep in the bleak surrounds of a rural Icelandic village. The brothers haven't spoken in 40 years and but use Kiddi's dog Somi to pass notes between them when communication is unavoidable. Following a local celebration, Kiddi's prizewinning ram shows sign of a dangerous infection which threatens lives of all the sheep and the community they support, but will this be enough to bring the estranged brothers back together?
Sure, this would have to be one of the least appealing plot descriptions imaginable, yet Rams manages to pull together a story that is warm, engaging, quirky, tense and as bleak as the harsh landscape in which it's set. Sigurjónsson and Júlíusson manage to say it all in a film that's light on dialogue but high on drama and their performances as the brothers are nothing short of superb. It moves seamlessly from bizarre to sombre to moving and then back again. There's an incompleteness to plot that leaves more questions than answers, but it's an intimate snapshot of a moment in time and we are simply seeing a small part of a much broader story. There are some confronting moments (the realities of farm life don't always make for easy viewing) and it won't be to everyone's taste, but well worth a look if you're interested in great performances, stunning cinematography and a film that defies cookie-cutter categorisation. (ME)