“RIFT”— Two Men and a Summer House

“RIFT” (“RÖKKUR”)

Two Men and a Summer House

Amos Lassen

When Gunnar gets a late night phone call from his ex-boyfriend Einar he becomes concerned and with good reason. Einar sounds disturbed and capable of hurting himself so Gunnar goes to the secluded cabin where Einar is holed up and quickly learns that someone, or something, is stalking them both. At this point, the film becomes quite intense and we begin to guess about what is going on. I had a sense of dread as I watched and this is because I had no idea of what to expect.

Icelandic “Rökkur” (or “Rift”) is about two men whose relationship has ended but who still deal with memories of the love that they once shared. Director Erlingur Thoroddsen gives us a condensed story of love, loneliness and betrayal set in the spooky atmosphere associated with Iceland, where fifty percent of the population is said to believe in elves, ghosts and goblins. Everything in the movie backs this up.

This is a movie with questions and no answers yet we are okay with that. We look at the complexity of relationships and the ambivalence that urban dwellers feel about nature and we see our inner demons that come to the fore as we watch. I found it to be stimulating to wrestle with the questions about what is real and what are the characters’ (and even our own) fantasies.