PLOT: Gummi (Sigurò Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theódór Júlíusson) are two brothers living in a remote Icelandic farming community who are neighbors but have not spoken with one another in forty years. When one of Kiddi's rams is found to have scarpie (a degenerative disease), the government orders that all the sheep in the region be destroyed. Gummi manages to save a handful of his sheep, hiding them in his cellar, but when authorities catch on, he must turn to his estranged brother in order to save his animals.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: The opening scenes in which Gummi brings his most prized ram into town for a local sheep contest. The way he talks to and handles the ram shows us that he considers it a work animal (as opposed to a pet). However, he clearly loves the creature and respects it for being the source of his livelihood. This relationship establishes the great lengths both brothers go to in order to try to save a handful of their animals.
WHO IS THIS MOVIE FOR?: I'll be honest, this is hard question to answer. Like last week's The Color of the Mountains, Rams doesn't clearly fit into a genre so it's difficult to give a clear cut "anyone who likes _____ will love this movie."
If I had to identify Rams, I'd say it's a low-key dramatic comedy. There are humorous moments but most of them are so subdued several seconds pass before I realized that what I saw was actually quite funny.
Rams' ideal viewer is someone who understands why people would risk going to jail to save their animals BUT has a thick skin when it comes to watching a movie where animals die. A lot of animals die in this film and it is utterly heart breaking. On top of that the film has a slow pace. It avoids many of the chaotic pratfalls a Hollywood film with the same plot would embrace.
That being said, the movie is extremely well acted and beautifully shot. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a "slice of life" film, most of the story feels very believable.
No, Rams isn't for everyone. In fact of all the films I have watched for this project, this is the one that would have the smallest audience (at least in America). That being said, it is a very well made movie that is excellently acted and painfully believable.
RUNTIME: 93 Minutes
DIRECTED BY: Grímur Hákonarson
WRITTEN BY: Grímur Hákonarson