Arctic (2018) – Review

A man stranded in the Arctic sees a helicopter in the distance, that looks set to rescue him from the dire situation he finds himself in, but suddenly the chopper crashes, and there’s only one surviving person onboard. From then on, Overgard (Mads Mikkelsen), must ensure not only his own survival, but the survival of the crash victim, who is badly injured. Leaving the relative safety of his improvised home, he embarks on a potentially fatal trek through the Arctic, in a bid to find support for them both. A movie that sends you effortlessly through a mixture of emotions and is definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Joe Penna
Writers: Joe Penna, Ryan Morrison
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smaradottir

As a film fan, you don’t really need an excuse to sit down and watch a Mads Mikkelsen flick, so when I saw Arctic streaming on Netflix, I decided to give it a shot. There’s something about icy landscapes that captivate me too, and this was no different. The icy, vast, yet beautiful surroundings were captured perfectly and rather interestingly, it’s worth noting that despite being depicted as a story based deep in the arctic, the entirety of this was filmed and shot in Iceland.

It’s also worth noting that the film on a whole wasn’t overloaded with tension or suspenseful moments like many of this kind would be – it was definitely slow burn in nature, but when the filmmakers decided to inject some tension and suspense, they did it effectively. The soundtrack helped matters too – when a film has such little dialogue, an important and realistic soundtrack is required, and that’s what the filmmakers produced.

Another aspect of the movie I enjoyed was the fact that the filmmakers didn’t delve too much into the character of, Overgard, and his past. As a viewer, you found yourself asking many questions and even at a point found yourself interested in the tale of how the main character ended up in the situation he found himself in and how he’s survived for so long – again, something that wasn’t really eluded to. Little snippets of information, however, were given throughout, but not enough to paint a full picture.

In terms of the acting performances, Mads Mikkelsen is as impressive as ever in his lead role, and must be commended for his ability to carry the entire movie by himself. There’s not many actors out there that can convey such a small amount of dialogue and yet captivate the audience put before him. Throughout, he managed to portray the grim reality of the harsh and dangerous situation he found himself in and was a great casting choice. Elsewhere, Maria Thelma Smaradottir adopted the role of the young woman that found herself stranded and fighting for her life – a rather unique and different kind of task, that she managed to handle convincingly.

One final thing to note would have to be the fact that there’s most definitely some ambiguity and frustration surrounding the final scenes of the flick and I can understand the frustration from some – I personally believe it could have been handled slightly better, but overall, it wasn’t a dissatisfying way to conclude the journey you’d just experienced. A really emotional movie that is worth a watch, for sure – Arctic is currently streaming on Netflix.

“They are looking for you, don’t worry. They’ll be here tomorrow.”

Overgard – Arctic

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