I have a had a life-long love of the arts; enjoying theatre, ballet, art and movies. We are all time poor and have limits to our entertainment budget so I hope an honest review will help make your choices easier.
Published January 29th 2019
A gritty and yet amazingly emotional survival movie
Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen), stranded in the Arctic following a plane crash, has carved out a harsh existence filled with extreme weather, physically demanding work and soul-crushing isolation. He diligently follows a relentless routine based around daily survival and the never-ending hope of rescue. A rescue which comes within reach to only be cruelly snatched away.
In a crushing blow, the rescuer (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir) is now seriously injured, as Overgård cares for her and connects to her humanity, he is transformed from a stoic survivalist to a risk-taking rescuer.
At first glance, this looks like a movie about survival in the face of extreme odds. However, as it unfolds, you discover that it is really a movie about humanity—our ultimate need for connection and the willingness of individuals to risk and give all to save another.
Mikkelson, known for his roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Dr. Strange, is exceptional in this role. Given that he is first alone and then joined by a barely conscious woman, Mikkelson's performance is defined by a distinct lack of dialogue. He, therefore, must draw on the physicality of his performance to engage his audience and lead them on what proves to be an emotional journey.
Overgård battles the harsh Arctic extremes with never-ending ice, howling gale force winds, hungry Polar Bears and a mountainous terrain every basic need requires almost superhuman strength to achieve; each formidable element only amplified by the burden of saving another As Overgård is pummelled by these obstacles his pure courage and perseverance pushes you to examine your own capacity to endure, and willingness to sacrifice all for another.
Arctic, a film by Joe Penna, is rated M with "occasional course language"—seriously with barely any dialogue that is very, very, very occasional. Running time: 97 minutes. For those who like the star rating system, I would give four stars out of five for the exceptional performance by Mikkelson, amazing cinematography and brilliant direction from Joe Penna.