“Arctic” came out earlier this year starring Mads Mikkelsen from director Joe Penna about a man stranded in the vast Arctic, who must decide whether to stay camped out in a crashed plane or venture out into the desolate terrain for help. I thoroughly enjoyed this survival movie and it completely grabbed my attention. There isn’t a lot of dialogue, Mikkelsen carries virtually the entire run-time, and it’s perfect for the needs of the story. Mikkelsen speaks so much through his expressions and body-language to capture the severity of his situation and it can truly lock the viewer in.
The on-location shoot creates a strong immersive atmosphere that greatly elevates the main characters struggle. The direction and cinematography capture the beauty and dangers of the locations. I was completely engaged in the story and felt continual tension as if I was out there with Mikkelsen. There was also an unpredictability to it that had me hanging on every scene to see how this saga through harsh wilderness would end. The theatrics are removed. It feels very grounded and it made the story extremely immersive.
The resourcefulness of Mikkelsen’s character was captured though some clever writing and it made everything feel more realistic. The story starts at a point where our character has already been stranded and it moves forward from there. While still exploring the past events that led to Mikkelsen alone and stranded in the Artic. I found myself routinely curious about things and it wouldn’t be too long before that information was laid out for me which kept the intrigue level high. It’s a gripping story of the human-spirit, it captures the desperation of survival, and I loved it. Mikkelsen is phenomenal and even with minimal dialogue, he still comes through with a world-class performance. So, if you like survival films, stories set in extreme natural environments, or commanding lead performances this is a movie to catch.