Bullet Points: Escape
The Scandinavian film industry has come a long way in the past 10 to 15 years. The violent Pusher series from Nicolas Winding Refn was from the 90’s but since then we’ve seen several amazing films such as Let the Right One In or the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy. This film doesn’t quite live up to the best of the best but it is more than just your average chase film.
The Gist: The Black Plague has ravaged the countryside in 14th century Norway and thieves and brigands feed off of the land. As a family traverses the open land they are attacked by a group of criminals led by the dangerous Dagmar. Young Signe is the only member of her family to survive, and now she finds herself in a fight for survival as the thieves plan to use Signe to carry a child for Dagmar. Signe’s only option is to ESCAPE the camp.
The Cast: Aside from the overly simplistic title, Escape is filled with awesome cinematography, a fine score, great direction, and a cast that more than holds its own. The young actresses who play Signe and Frigg are pretty amazing and there wasn’t a single moment in the film that I thought an actor was out of his/her element. I like to think that the landscape of Norway was also a character as it played a pretty serious role in the film as well. The two girls escape through some beautiful countryside for sure.
Signe has to go all “Dutch in Predator” on Dagmar and her crew.
The Villain: The lovely Ingrid Bolsø Berdal excellently portrays Dagmar, the films best character in my eyes. She pushes the story and the more that gets revealed about her past the better the movie gets. The film follows Signe as she runs for her life but it’s even more important for us to get to know Dagmar for the reasons why she won’t let Signe and Frigg go. She also surrounds herself with some bad dudes who help her snatch and grab to survive.
You can see the look of determination and crazy in Dagmar’s eyes.
The Action: The film didn’t have many surprises but not every movie needs some sort of M. Night Shyamalan twist to be good. Escape is a film that succeeds in that it uses all 73 minutes of its run time to tell the best story possible. The action scenes are somewhat brief; it is a film where criminals chase two young girls, but there are a couple of good “fight” scenes and one is particular where the young girl uses a bear-killing technique for protection that I rather liked.
Take it Home:
- The Archer: Listed as “Grim”, the guy with the bow is the lead vocalist for a Norwegian black metal band called God Seed.
- Timeline: The actual year of the events is 1363.
- Keepin’ it simple: There are times when a good score and excellent visuals speak much louder than a bit of dialogue.