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Dragonflies (Øyenstikker) (15)



Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: Two

MARIUS Holt is a big wheel in the advertising world of his native Norway. But this sparse, tightly-wound thriller is a far cry from the sort of frothy produce one imagines he is obliged to turn out in his day-job.

Eddie (Kim Bodnia) and Maria (Maria Bonnevie) are living an idyllic, isolated existence somewhere in the wilds of Norway. They are clearly in love.

From the outset, we are led to believe that they both have dark secrets, and it is because of their troubled past that they have bonded.

All seems to be going well until the fateful day that Eddie goes into town to pick up some shopping.

While leaving the supermarket, the bear-like Eddie notices a stranger filling up his car with petrol.

After some hesitation Eddie makes contact with the man, Kullman (Mikael Persbrandt), who turns out to be a character that Eddie once partnered in some sort of crime.

And while Eddie has been enjoying his bucolic lifestyle, Kullman, it is implied, has been serving a five-stretch in one of Norway’s fine penitentiaries.

Although initially wary, Eddie invites his old friend back to his lakeside home, believing that he will leave the following morning.

But this is not what the sinister Kullman has in mind at all. Instead he has made it his mission to persuade Eddie to go on one last job, and he makes it clear that he will not leave until his cantankerous friend agrees to join him.

Eventually, after Kullman makes life thoroughly unpleasant for his hosts and their neighbours, Eddie agrees to participate.

Seething with distrust and paranoia, this movie works on a psychological rather than physical level.

The direction and the acting are distinctly low key, the characters and their troubled pasts are barely defined and the dialogue is used economically, to say the least.

While the pace and dogme-styling of Dragonflies may be too radical for mainstream film fans to enjoy, art-house buffs will love it. But catch it while you can, because it’s unlikely to run and run.

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