Film Review: Rams is full of pathos


I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking how good it would be to go and see a film about sheep farming in rural Iceland. Well, you’re in luck, because award-winning movie, Rams is released soon.

Grímur Hakonarson’s movie is a droll little fable about two brothers more stubborn than the sheep over which they dote. Set in a valley which is equally beautiful and bleak, the story sees the siblings, Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) living side-by-side yet never speaking. They only communicate through sending notes via Kiddi’s dog.

Their world is flipped upside down though when a case of disease sees the entire village’s livelihood threatened. As the authorities close in, do the brothers set aside a lifetime of hostility to save their special breed?

What starts off as a sweet curiosity turns, over the course of the narrative, into a story about family, community and about realising what is important in life. The film is gently funny at times and, by its conclusion, you really care about the plight of the siblings and their woolly friends. The final scene of Rams is filled with pathos and is incredibly touching.

If you like your cinema to be minimalist and well observed, you’ll get plenty from this humble little tale. Despite it being quite low-key, you’ll find that it will stay in your head for a long time afterwards.

Rams will be released in Australian cinemas nationally on April 7, 2016. Check listings for other countries.

bobby t


Review by Bobby Townsend