2 February 2019 | meepfacejohn
Arctic - Simple story about survival
Lost in the desolate arctic, because of a aircraft-accident, pilot Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen) tries to survive in through steady routines and pure willpower. How long he will make it alone, is uncertain, and how long he has already survived is vague, but he holds on to hope for good or for bad.
On a hill, not far from the downed aeroplane, Overgård sits for hours every day hoping to get in touch with airtrafic. One day, finally, after many months there appears a helicopter, but of course due to bad weather, it ends in one more wreck. Now he is in charge of not only his own, but an additional human life. Realising that the little ruin of an aeroplane he calls home isn't permament, Overgård decides to defy nature in a trip for civilisation.
The windblown, snowfilled world in which Overgård resides is competently shown, through beautiful and splendid natureportrayals, of the kind you see in a "Planet Earth"-type documentary. Throughout the film the 'man versus nature' theme precides, and the main conflict (along a cute polar-bear) is the effect nature can have on humans. Much of the films imagery is therefore based around the overwhelming nature, that slowly, but surely, is killing the characters. Even if its via frostbite, og a lack of provisions, it becomes clear that nature is about to prevail.
The film is competently put together, with a tone that feels very appropriate. Together with the music, somewhat reminicent of a Hans Zimmer-score, the films gets a realistic and somwhat tradig appearance.
Mads Mikkelsen is in a way the entire movie. He sits as a mainstay through the film, carrying it with a presentation of a rough survivor. Even though most of the film is visual, his acting stand out throughout the films runtime. The only thing i found strange in the film was how his monolouge kept switching between english and danish. Despite this, it was very easy to picture Mikkelsen as Overgård, his performance was strong and convincing.
Overall it is a simple story of man versus nature, but the potensial of something elementary always has a high potential. "Less is more" applies to this film well. With good visual narration you always have a good idea of what is about to happen in a film with very limited speech.