Connect with us

Featured Article

Sci-Fi-London 2015: Dawn (Morgenrode) Review

DawnDirector: Anders Elsrud Hultgreen.

Cast: Torstein Bjorklund, Ingar Helge Gimle.

Certificate: N/A

Running Time: 70 minutes

Synopsis: Two men wander through a post apocalyptic environment.

The post apocalyptic sub-genre has many great entries in it. We only have to look back at this month’s very own Mad Max: Fury Road to see that the genre is still alive and as exciting as ever. But perhaps the post apocalypse wouldn’t be all that fun after all. This is something that Dawn deals with to such an extent, that it becomes one of the most tedious and joyless films of recent years.

Landing in from Norway, Dawn is a very simplified tale. We follow two men who wander through a desolate and empty landscape, where water is a rare commodity. One of the men stops to pray quite often, while the other looks on with interest and suspicion. And that’s pretty much all we get. Hultgreen’s feature length debut should not be that at all. It should be another short, but instead we are subjected to one of the longest 70 minutes ever constructed. Bjorklund’s religious Rahab does the same prayer numerous times, and the rest of the film is filled with plenty of walking.

You have to admire the film in some sense, as it actually has a very interesting thematic core. Rahab depends on religion in a  world where that is all that is left. Even the basic necessities of life are hard to come by, and so faith is more powerful than ever. Gimle’s Set, watches from a distance before engaging in short and philosophical dialogue with Rahab, and soon becomes jealous of the religion and beliefs that Rahab has, to the point where he lusts over them himself. It’s a fascinating spin that in a world that lacks any need of material possessions would see religion become such a possession.

Intentions and ideas aside though, none of this is fully explored. A purple tint and drony score highlight Lynchian influences and help to unsettle the audience from the get go, but there is little to capitalise on such an effective initial atmospheric tone. Gimle and Bjorkland have very little to do and are instead usurped by the beautiful landscapes of Iceland. There is no denying Hultgreen’s ability to compose an artistic shot that can highlight nature’s most profound features, but there is little else to enjoy here. In many ways this is like strolling through a gallery at an uncomfortably slow pace.

More of a piece of art than an actual film, this could have been a succinct short, or could have been more enjoyable in its very complex themes. It’s always a shame to see a film as a waste of time, but that is exactly what Dawn feels like. Anyone who has ever sat through a lengthy speech or sermon, only for it to be summed up by a fellow observer with the line “So what you’re saying is…”, will understand just how frustrating the experience of watching Dawn truly is. As isolated as its setting, Dawn will find it very hard to find an audience, and the audience it does find may not know exactly why they like it.

Find More Coverage Of Sci-Fi-London 2015 Right Here!

Luke likes many things, films and penguins being among them. He's loved films since the age of 9, when STARGATE and BATMAN FOREVER changed the landscape of modern cinema as we know it. His love of film extends to all aspects of his life, with trips abroad being planned around film locations and only buying products featured in Will Smith movies. His favourite films include SEVEN SAMURAI, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, IN BRUGES, LONE STAR, GODZILLA, and a thousand others.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest Posts


More in Featured Article