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A White White Day Review: Iceland’s Robert De Niro Shines In This Uncut Gem

A White White Day is a tightly-wound Icelandic drama about a grieving raging widower who discovers his dead wife was unfaithful to him. Read our review here!

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A White White Day Review: Iceland’s Robert De Niro Shines In This Uncut Gem
The only reason I can think of why Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson is not known globally as a phenomenal actor is his hard-to-pronounce name. Think. If Amitabh Bachchan was called  Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, would he be the icon that he is? In A White White Day, a tightly-wound Icelandic drama about a grieving raging widower who discovers his dead wife was unfaithful to him, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson is cast as Ingimundur, a cop so burnt out he can ignite a fire with the embers of his smouldering angst. The lead actor’s rage and grief can be felt in every frame, and his inability to come to terms with his irreparable loss is so palpable I could feel it in every frame.

The lead performance stands heads and shoulders above the film, giving to the well-crafted thoughtful chilling drama a dimension that is unmissable. Ingimundur is portrayed as a loner with a loving family. His relationship with his granddaughter Salka (Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir) is especially remarkable. And to see the two bonding almost for the entire length of the film is a pleasure. This is the third film in the last two months were little girl bonds with the ageing hero. Earlier I saw George Clooney and Tom Hanks in a similar bonding in Midnight Sky and  News Of The World.

The grandfather-granddaughter bonding in A  White White Day is extraordinarily vivid. It colours practically every other interaction in the film. That Ingimundur is deeply troubled is established from the outset. And he hates being reminded of it. In a this-could-be-funny-if-it-were-not-so-sad sequence, he smashes his computer during an online session with his  shrink when the shrunk asks, “Do you ever cry?”

The film’s austerity of the expression matches that of the leading man. The director cuts the scenes just when they begin to settle down, thereby echoing the protagonist’s state of mind. I didn’t like the way Ingimundur stalks and tortures his dead wife’s lover. But then everyone handles grief in a different way.

In the final sequence, Ingimundur invites a prostitute to help him pay back his wife for her betrayal. All Ingimundur can do is stare at the naked woman, his eyes turning into streams of hurt emotions. I wish his shrink was there to see that closing sequence. He would have got his answer and no computer would have been destroyed.

Directed by Hlynur Pálmason, A White White Day gets 3 and a half stars. 

Image Source: Instagram/snowglobefilm, youtube/peccadillofilms, peccadillo
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