Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Mercy (Matthias Glasner, 2012)

Mercy, directed by German filmmaker Matthias Glasner, is a fascinating melodrama screening at the upcoming 2013 Audi Festival of German Films.

Set in the beautiful northern Norwegian town of Hammerfest, covered by periodic complete darkness and light, Mercy is an engrossing slow-burn drama fraught with moral quandary (guilt is a more relevant virtue than the eponymous one, however) and domestic melodrama. Mercy offers surprises and focuses on how people cope with isolation, both in relation to location and the individual emotional traps they face. The plot mechanics are well constructed and the unique location presents a stunning snowy canvas for this tale to unravel.

Niels (Jurgen Vogel, Hotel Lux) and Maria (Brigit Minichmayr, Das Weiss Bande) and their son Markus (Henry Stange), have recently emigrated to Norway in the hopes they can start a new life and resurrect their stagnant marriage. Niels has taken on a job as an engineer and we soon learn he has been sleeping with an attractive colleague (Ane Dahl Top, Dead Snow). After being briefly distracted by the northern lights on her way home late one night, Maria hits someone or something with her car. She stops quickly but is panicked and drives on home. A search by Niels later in the night reveals no sign of anything, but Maria still fears the worst. The next day, on the news and in the paper, there is a report that one of Markus’ schoolmates had been killed during the night, a hit-and-run.

Continue reading at Graffiti With Punctuation

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