Top critical review
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nothing novel about this movie
on March 21, 2004
I've seen many Foreign Films lately, and I've noticed that most of the ones I've seen are extremely simplistic, and focus the entire story on an average character and his/her daily routines.
The problem with this movie is that the main character is an underachiever, and his life is less than entertaining. True, a character's life CAN be boring, but the story can't. A dull life and dreary routine can make for a good movie (i.e "400 Blows"), but for the movie to succeed, it's got to be shown in an entertaining way.
I seriously felt swindled out of $20 by the time the credits rolled. There was nothing fresh about this movie at all. The characters were not intriguing to say the least. And just looking at the scenery was sending me to an early nap.
And so, visually, this movie also disappointed me: all the audience gets to see of Iceland is the main character's house, a Welfare office, a nightclub, a bazaar, and a few shots of apartment interiors. If there was more scenery in this movie, it didn't leave any memorable impressions.
To sum up, I watched this movie for three reasons:
1) to be entertained by the main character's lifestyle
2) to listen to the Icelandic language
3) to get a colorful glimpse of Iceland
In conclusion, the only good thing I can say about this movie is that most of it is in Icelandic. That said, I seriously doubt anyone will be enthralled by the movie's story. And people hoping to see Iceland or even just Reykjavik in all its glory will be disappointed by the film's choice of locations. The movie does not do Iceland justice, and it does not do the movie industry justice. At its very best, this movie is less-than-average.
Aside from this movie, I've only see one other Icelandic movie, "The Sea." And if you have to pick between "101 Reykjavik" and "The Sea," I definitely recommend the latter.