At last! After five failed attempts I finally found something I could sink my teeth into at this year’s Berlinale Film Festival.
Set in the beautiful yet desolate Hammerfest, Norway, Mercy centres on the relationship of Maria and Niels and their son Markus. Moving out of their native Germany and into the icy Scandinavian surroundings, the new location encourages lies, lust and complexities that have been bubbling underneath, now ready to implode.
Aside from three strong acting performances, the fourth star of Mercy is the location itself. With snowfall for nine months of the year, the hazardous and entraping conditions are equally mesmerising and claustrophobic; symbolising the broken family and their need to escape from the city and each other.
THE GOOD: All of the above, plus some equally inspired cinematography and apposite lighting.
THE BAD: The final three seconds of the film. I felt like shouting at the fifty foot screen and twelve hundred-strong audience.