Rob Reviews "Lamb"
You know that thing where you say something and then something else happens and you have to take back the something you said because you said that thing in hyperbole? Well… that almost happened.
I am usually pretty good about doing at least a little research before signing up for reviewing a film (it is WELL documented on our show that there are certain genres that I avoid for my own reason), but I am also not afraid to spread my wings a bit to films I would not normally gravitate towards in case I find a “diamond in the rough”. More than once have there been films that I came to love with this theory, but more than once I have been burned by it as well.
So back to my original thought; remember when I said it would be difficult to find a film I would like less than “Annette” in The Year of Our Lord 2021? “Lamb” gets CLOSE.
The original “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in Noomi Rapace produces and stars in this train wreck of a film as Maria With Hilmir Snaer Gudnason playing her husband, Ingvar. They live and work on a farm in Iceland, and when a special baby comes into their lives, it changes everything for them on every level… and then stuff happens.
Valdimar Johannsson makes his feature film debut (he did a short once and worked on a LOT of crews) and co-writes the script with Sjon (“Dancer in the Dark”), if that is what you want to call this. I am not even sure what genre this is. With Don’s aversion to films with subtitles, I am not sure that would even bother him here because there is so much silence that translating the dialogue had to have been completed in less than a day without having to stop for any reason in this 110-minute journey into the almost bottom of my 2021 film list. There isn’t even a word spoken until almost ten minutes into this thing. Is it a horror film? Is it a drama? Is it just? I still have no clue, and I am writing this review two days after I saw this.
There is also a sub-plot involving Ingvar’s brother showing up at the farm that really does NOTHING to further the story, and once the reveal (which I won’t spoil here; there has to be SOMEONE out there that wants to see this film) happens, there really isn’t a payoff to it until just before the end credits fire up and TRUST ME, there will be questions ALL THE WAY THROUGH THIS. Honestly, some of the ways I thought it was going would have made more sense than what actually happens, and even the things in my head made no sense. The closest I can come here is if you remember the first episode of “Game of Thrones,” where something happens and isn’t even addressed until the end of Season Two or Three and then I went “oh, THAT is what is going on). Even that payoff gets more fleshed out than how “Lamb” ends up, and I wouldn’t even call this a payoff. The end does make the beginning make more sense, but it seems like a copout from what I think the original concept of this film was supposed to be. I feel like the script was written backwards and didn’t really develop ANYTHING in the execution.
We are just under three months from our year-end list, and even though they will be limited this year, I do find it hard to believe that “Lamb” will not remain on the medal stand of my least favorite films of the year. I also have been proven wrong before, so who knows?