I’ve had a pretty cinema heavy week the past 7 days, with 4 individual trips to 4 different venues. Does that make me really boring, or a woman who mixes things up? Does anyone care?!
When deciding which of these films to spend my time reviewing, I decided to go for Woman at War as it was easily my favourite of the bunch – despite my boyfriend’s protests that I should be using my efforts on John Wick 3. Eye roll.
It’s important to note that I was in an incredibly good mood when going in to watch Woman at War, explained in my previous gushing fan girl post about how perfect The Castle Cinema is. Not over it.
The film is about Halla, a one woman activist group who’s taken it upon herself to bring down the local aluminium plant in her home country of Iceland. However, she’s forced to re-evaluate her priorities when she receives a phone call that could change her life as she knows it – intriguing right?
What a total pleasure to watch. The central performance by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir (of both Halla and her twin sister) is so skilful, controlled and perfectly pitched that it’s easy to believe in the many facets of her personality. A character with this much depth and intrigue is hard to come by, and I was so invested in her trajectory throughout the film that by the end, I was gutted that it was over.
There’s some really notable performances from others in the cast too, with the best easily being her ‘potential’ cousin, played by Jóhann Sigurðarson. This is a film full of brilliant dark humour, and any scene with these two together bought a lot of joy to the screen for me.
It would be amiss to not mention the music used in the film, with at first a 3 piece band joining our heroine on screen to soundtrack the scene right in front of us. At other times we were joined by some traditional Icelandic singers, and at other times by no one at all – it was always perfectly pitched to the mood and the novelty of this surreal addition never wore off for me.
It’s a subtle and thought provoking, 1 hour 41 minute long pleasure to watch. The Icelandic scenery is so beautiful too.
The film is at its best when Halla is out with her weaponry, going full-rogue and taking down the man one pylon at a time. Not only was there not enough of this for me, some of the best moments were in the trailer which is turning into a right issue for me in 2019. Must start going to the cinema 20 minutes late to avoid these things, but that is against my natural punctual instinct.
The only problem with Woman at War is that I wanted more – which isn’t really a problem at all.