Under the Tree (Undir trénu) (2018)
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Critic Reviews for Under the Tree (Undir trénu)
Hafsteinn Sigurðsson's film begins as a trifling neighborhood dispute about an overgrown shade tree and ends as a violent tug-of-war with alarmingly high stakes.
What the film occasionally lacks in human finesse, it makes up for in sheer anything-goes resolve.
Each character resonates as a problematic individual whose foolishness escalates first into drama, then tragedy.
How dark is too dark? Iceland's "Under the Tree" pushes the envelope with a pitch-black tale of a neighborly squabble that gets more and more violent. Problem is, it gets less and less funny, too.
The trajectory is never really convincing. (Ron Burgundy might opine that things escalate a bit too quickly.)
The tone is deliberately odd ... blending the naturalism of the day-to-day emotions of relationships and grief, with the altogether more heightened tensions of a revenge thriller, while still keeping a cheeky eye on the absurdity of a mooning garden gnome
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