*Potential spoilers, depends on your knowledge of 1980s British crime films*

Prior to this, I was like you, I primarily viewed sheep as potential jumpers and dinner; mysterious creatures with weird eyes like goats: ultimately unknowable but I considered myself strongly pro. Reader, I have been humbled.

It turns out they are friends, bedfellows and a way of life, particularly to a pair of Icelandic brothers in the 2015 film Rams.

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I loved this film. The story of two brothers who have not spoken in forty years but who find themselves reunited for a common purpose will not, I think, find the audience it deserves (certainly many in my sphere are put off by subtitles) in this country but it is nevertheless enjoying a relatively wide release. And rightly so.

In the promotional bumpf that I received it was described as a tragi-comedy and while it is certainly funny in parts, those in the market for a straight up comedy should probably steer clear. To my mind, this errs on the “tragi” half of this equation and no bad thing either. It is not an exaggeration to say that I welled up on at least two occasions, and without wishing to spoil things, the ending reminded me of The Long Good Friday if that film had ended in redemption.

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I am unable to do my customary facetious and reductive recount of the plot because, on this occasion, the plot is almost secondary. Two sheep farmers and brothers do not communicate and then a problem occurs – again, I feel I should reiterate, I am not being facetious. This is a perfectly serviceable story but that isn’t what this film is about. This film is about tone, superb acting, and beautiful shots of Iceland.

If you need further recommendation, know this: I will be watching this again, several times. Without wishing to gush any further, I thought it was wonderful. If I offered one criticism I would be lying. It just worked for me. Who knew a film about sheep and sheep enthusiasts could be so engrossing. I’ve watched a lot of crap for Vulture Hound, on this occasion I feel like I won some form of competition.

A full out of 5.

 

Dir: Grimur Hakonarson

Scr:  Grimur Hakonarson

Cast: Sigurour Sigurjonsson, Theodor Juliusson, Charlotte Boving

Prd: Grimur Jonsson

DOP: Sturla Brandth Grovlen

Music: Atli Orvarsson

Country: 2015

Year: Iceland/Denmark/Poland/Norway

Run time: 93 mins

 

Rams is available on Blu-Ray and DVD now.