June 10, 2013

The Deep (2012)

The Deep (2012)
Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Country: Iceland

Review: “The Deep” is a docudrama by filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, who has been a solid contributor to Icelandic cinema with works such as “101 Reykjavyk” and “Jar City”, even if intercalated with some less successful films. Based on true events, the story follows a fisherman named Gulli, who swam during six hours in the North Atlantic Ocean at a temperature of 5ºC, to reach the coast of the largest Westmann Island, after the fishing boat he was working in, has sunk. This miraculous occurrence transformed Gulli in an object of many scientific studies and experiences, without any logical conclusion. The story was presented without sensationalism, a fact that, together with its powerful images and strong psychological factor, provided good cinematic moments without ever losing direction or falling in doubtful strategies. Invigorating sensations aroused when Gulli went to visit the family of his dead shipmate, doing what he had promised when isolated in the sea with the seagulls as only company. Real images of steersman Gulli (his true name is Guðlaugur Friðþórsson) from almost 30 years ago, being interviewed from his hospital bed, appears in the end. He became a sort of national hero and an enigma, as well as an inspiration for “The Deep”, a heartfelt film, which title certainly was inspired not only in the ocean’s immensity but also in what he felt during and after the tragedy.

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