When her brother is killed in a freak on a farm in deepest rural Iceland, Hera Karlsdottir (Thora Bjorg Helga) is devastated. Not only did she see it actually happen but now she can’t reconcile why it did. Her brother was her hero and she loved him. She was born into a family of farmers who ask no questions and follow the ordinary. She however wants to honour her brother, the rebel, the rocker. When Hera starts to explore his music collection, he finds that her grief can be overcome. The sound of metal, drowns out the sound of pain and as she listen so she becomes convinced. She will become a rock star. She will become the rock god her brother should have been and the one to save many others from the pain of the past. However how will her family take it?
Grief is truly a thief of the self. It steals all that you cling to. From the values of identity to the political ideology we bind our thoughts to. Within director Ragnar Bragason film you have a discourse that suggests it can also give. That it might be able to give as much or maybe more to the person on its end. Give back your life, identity and hope. He is one of Iceland’s most popular and critically acclaimed filmmakers and if this film is anything to go by, Hollywood shall be calling very soon. It is by turns funny, irreverent and also slightly angry. It gets what it wants to say and the position it needs to take in order to do this. Somewhat rarely it lacks the problems inherent with a film that could be seen as a black comedy or a coming of age drama. That is both tonally and direction. Here that is tender and sardonic in places while remaining truthful also. The direction is tight, without making the thing seem closed in. It makes the whole feel solid enough to take what is being given to us. Which works perfectly for me in cementing the film’s core. That to put simply is, a young girl coming to terms with the death of her brother and a person she revered. He comes back to her in the performance of his love.
Metalhead will be available on iTunes, Google, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon Instant Video.