Sunday, April 19, 2015


A Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Selection

By D.E.Levine

Icelandic director Dagur Kari has given us a brilliant film with an amazing performance by  Gunnar Jonsson.

No one could see this film and not be moved by Jonsson's exceptional performance as Fusi, a 43 year old, fat man who still lives with his mother.

By creating a limited and unchanging world, Fusi is playing it safe.  Fusi works as a baggage handler at the airport and comes home to recreate the battle of El Alamein on his work table.  His only friend, Rolf (Arnan Jonsson) helps him with the battle.

A creature of habit, not to be disturbed, he eats at the same Thai restaurant every Friday and eats the same pad thai.  Fusi never disturbs his routine and his mother (Margret Helga Johannsdottir) is somewhat domineering and wants to keep Fusi at home for company and household repairs.

Gentle and unassuming, whenever he ventures outside of his comfort zone his forays end in disaster.   Even his kindness and friendship with a neighbor's little girl who is starved for attention, raises unfounded gossip and rumors about perversion.

Throughout everything, Fusi accepts rejection, humiliation, and ridicule as a norm  When his mother's live-in lover gives Fusi a birthday gift of line-dancing lessons and a cowboy hat, although he tries to avoid the lessons, Fusi meets a vivacious blonde and begins to help her.

While one would think that Fusi would not be a strong romantic candidate, the blonde, Sjofn (llmur Kristjansdottir) is needed and deeply damaged and truly appreciates Fusi's gentleness and goodness. Their friendship provides a healing power that opens doors for them both.

One has to see this film to fully understand the depth of the performance provided by Gunnar Jonsson.  His Fusi is truly a gentle giant and the virgin mountain, whose life is forever changed by his life experiences and humble acceptance of them.