Thursday, 23 July 2009


Iceland has hardly been at the epicentre of movie chit-chat, but that could all change thanks to the writer and director of this atmospheric and icy little thriller.

Laced with gloomy cinematography, unscrupulous characters, and a story structure which interweaves two supposedly disparate tales at the same time - it is hard not to get sucked into the small world director Baltasar Kormakur has created.

The film opens with Orn - a man mourning the death of his only daughter to a rare genetic disease. No sooner have the titles rolled and the audience are lambasted into something completely unconnected or so we are led to believe.

A loner is dead in a pool of blood, killed by a strong blow to the head, and tough-talking, chain-smoking Detective Erlendur (Iceland’s answer to Cracker) is called in to investigate.

But this is island-life where bad news travels faster than the icy wind and community secrets, which had lay buried for years are about to rise morbidly to the surface.

Of course, like many murder mysteries of this kind, the proof is in the finale.

And Jar City certainly delivers - creating a taunting tale, which throws the audience line after line only to happily snap them before you get a chance of figuring it out.

It also has a strong message - one that will leave you stirring in your seat long after the credits have rolled.

Rating: * * * *

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