A White, White Day
Ingvary Sigurdsson, Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
A deliberately paced domestic drama cum crime thriller that deals in shades of grey, both climactically and morally…
This Icelandic domestic drama cum crime thriller deals in shades of grey, both climactically and morally. From the opening scenes, we see that the protagonists live in a remote landscape that is likely to disappear behind a blizzard or a fog at any moment. The hero, or perhaps we should say protagonist, is Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurdsson), a not-quite-retired policeman whose younger wife has recently died in a car accident. He deals with his grief as best he can. Seemingly he is OK. He has a good relationship with his eight-year-old granddaughter Salka (a great child acting turn from Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir). He knows he needs to stay strong for her. However, there is something eating away at Ingimundur and slowly he begins to see his memories of the marriage, and of his wife, in a different light.
The film is directed by Hlynur Palmason and it is perhaps relevant to note that he is a man, as in many ways this is a very male view of marriage, relationships and fidelity. The deceased wife (Sara Dogg Asgeirsdottir) is rarely brought into the picture. Although there are a couple of telling flashbacks, her motivations and desires are only relayed to us through her husband’s memories.
That said, the director does have the advantage, perhaps, of really understanding the questionable mixture of tenderness and possessiveness that characterises Ingimundur’s version of love. To say too much about where this takes the story would be to do the film a disservice. In some ways, it meanders a little in the middle – but that too, may be deliberate. The last act represents a real change of gear but one which, thinking back, has been set up all along in a subtle way. The elements of the film that work well are good enough for the film to stay with us after its images have faded to white.