It’s man and audience against nature

Mads Mikkelsen in Arctic (IMDB)

If you are an enthusiast for powerful stories of endurance in impossible locations with prospects of rescue diminishing rapidly, then Arctic can be well recommended. Source: ACOFB.

Danish dramatic actor Mads Mikkelsen plays the Overgaard, the central character in this Icelandic survival film. He is the ideal to portray a pilot stranded alone in the remote Arctic after his plane crashes.

Needless to say, there is not a great deal of dialogue in this film. There is, however, a great attention to detail, showing Overgaard’s devices for catching fish through the snow and ice so we know that he is not going to be deprived of food and water. His radio is not working. He sleeps in the plane itself and has some resources, including matches.

But, he is alone. Does anyone know what has happened to him?

Suddenly, a helicopter circles, and he sets off a flare of hope. But, perhaps a necessary spoiler, especially when you see that Mads Mikkelsen is not the sole member of the cast, the helicopter crashes. There is a survivor, a young girl who is injured, in shock and unable to communicate.

This turns Arctic into a double survivor story, as Overgaard decides to put the young girl on a sled, gather supplies and track over the mountains in the hope of rescue.

One of the difficulties with this kind of film – think of those mountain climbing epic, or the 1993 film Alive about the football team that crashed in the Andes – the audience is also expected to undergo the endurance, which can make a hard slog of film viewing.

Arctic is definitely for this kind of audience – but for a comfy night out, better not.

– Reviewed by Fr Peter Malone MSC, ACOFB

Arctic Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smaradottir. Directed by Joe Penna. 97 minutes. Rated M (Occasional coarse language).

FULL REVIEW

Arctic (ACOFB)

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