DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE DEEP (DJUPIO) (director/writer: Baltasar Kormakur; screenwriter: Jón Atli Jónasson; cinematographer: Bergsteinn Bjorgulfsson; editors: Sverrir Kristjansson/lisabet Ronaldsdottir; music: Ben Frost/Daniel Bjarnason; cast: Olafur Darri Olafsson (Gulli), Johann G. Johansson (Palli), Bjorn Thors (Hannes), Throstur Leo Gunnarsson (Lárus), Thorbjorg Helga Thorgilsdottir (Halla), Walter Geir Grimsson (Raggi), Stefan Hallur Stefansson (Jon), Theodur Juliusson (Foreldrar Gulli), Maria Sigurdardottir (Gulli), Gudjon Pedersen (Erlingur Prófessor); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Agnes Johansen/Baltasar Kormakur; Metrodome; 2012-Iceland/Norway-Icelandic & English, with English subtitles)

"While filmed on the sea for the first half, the pic is powerful. Problem is when it goes ashore for the second half it loses some of its power."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Icelandic writer-director Baltasar Kormakur ("Contraband"/"Everest"/"2 Guns") bases the fisherman survival tale on actual events that occurred off Iceland’s volcanic Westman Islands in 1984. It's co-written by Jón Atli Jónasson. While filmed on the sea for the first half, the pic is powerful. Problem is when it goes ashore for the second half it loses some of its power.

Gulli (Olafur Darri Olafsson) is part of a six-man crew working on a rusty fishing trawler, the Breki. The twentysomething lives with his parents on the harsh close-knit community of Westman Island. On a regular fishing run in March 1984, the boat capsizes in the rough sea after an accident and the men cling to life when swept overboard in the Atlantic Ocean.
Gulli is sole survivor, and swims for safety. He comforts himself by talking to the sea gulls about his plight and future aspirations.

The pic is good at capturing everyday life in a fishing community. Also its visuals are strong in capturing the hero's fight for his life in the sea. The acting might not be magnificent, too stagy, but the realistic atmosphere is grand.

In the end credits, the real Gulli is interviewed from his hospital bed. 

REVIEWED ON 9/29/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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