Herzstein (2016)

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Herzstein: Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson. With Baldur Einarsson, Blær Hinriksson, Diljá Valsdóttir, Katla Njálsdóttir. In a fishing village in Iceland, a boy develops feelings for his best friend as his best friend pursues his affections for a girl.

“Seen at the Film Fest Ghent 2016 (website: filmfestival.be/en). Despite earlier resolutions to never see coming-of-age movies again, I booked tickets for this one as it looked different, and it indeed was different too. Of course, the usual pubertal problems were not avoided, but did not stay in the foreground too much, thereby not overwhelming the real issues this movie was about, as outlined in the IMDb synopsis, plus some other interesting topics as an extra freebie.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe total running time of over 2 hours is well spent, and is really needed to explore the relevant topics and the insides of the main protagonists. Part of the time is devoted to related problems in the environment of the two young men. One example is Thoru0026#39;s divorced mother, also Christianu0026#39;s parents as a second example, each with their own set of problems. All this combines nicely together in the main story line, taking care of a welcome deviation from the central theme that some may consider not heavy enough to stand on its own feet. Thoru0026#39;s sister as well as the two young women who are the obvious candidate partners for Thor and Christian, have their own useful role, yet are a bit sidelined in the overall story.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAll in all, it is obvious that Thor and Christian are the main protagonists, who succeed very well in carrying the full story from A to Z. Apart from aforementioned threesome girls (Thornu0026#39;s sister plus two) being portrayed a bit too stereotypical, the rest of the cast performs very well in their respective roles, be it large or small. All of them act believably and none are cardboard characters. And finally, can we deem Islandu0026#39;s nature to be an additional protagonist, perfectly casted and playing very naturally??”


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