Friday 9 March 2012

Film: Troll Hunter (2010)

This is something different: a Norwegian "found footage" film with a combination of fantasy, horror and comedy elements.

It purports to be the result of a student film project anonymously handed in to the film company which is releasing it. Each scene was therefore filmed from only one viewpoint, the pictures are sometimes jerky and the scenes cut abruptly from one to the next, with no background music. It reminded me of the brief period during which I tried to film my holidays on a camcorder!

Three students set out to make a film about bear hunting, and learn about the presence of a suspected poacher. They follow him, only to discover that he is after much bigger and more dangerous game than bears. It is giving away no secrets (given the title and the inclusion of a gigantic beast in the posters promoting the film) to reveal that he is after trolls….The students follow the troll hunter in a sometimes hair-raising, sometimes comic series of adventures before the dramatic climax.

Troll Hunter is an entertaining film, convincingly acted by the young students but dominated by Otto Jespersen, who delivers a great performance as the laconic, cynical, expressionless hunter, wearily going through what for him is his routine and tiresome official job of hunting down the most dangerous beasts on the planet - beasts whose existence the government is very anxious to keep secret.

There's a moment of unexpected humour right at the end, when Jens Stoltenburg, who really is the Prime Minister of Norway, is seen in an interview saying "Norway has trolls". The interview was genuine, but the audio slightly edited…he was actually referring to the Troll oil field just off the coast of Norway!

Incidentally, I don't know what language the UK cinema release version was in, but as I watched it on DVD I had a choice and elected to watch it in Norwegian (with subtitles, of course!). I hate films with dubbed-in speech; I find listening to the original language much more authentic and interesting even though I don't understand it, and relying on the subtitles doesn't bother me.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Thanks for the review. It looks interesting, so I put it on my queue at netflix.