The Homecoming (Blooberg)
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This light-hearted and subtle Icelandic comedy deals with the very serious topic of incest in a new way where it is almost secondary to the other convoluted relationships which surround the couple at the centre of the maelstrom. Written and directed by Bjorn Hlymr Haraldsson who invests the film with an appropriate sense of comedy and pathos as required which results in a well paced film which despite its taboo subject matter almost seems to normalise the supposedly incestuous couple.
Gunnar , a self-help author who is not entirely at ease with this role, and his wife Disa seem to have settled into middle-aged apathy and despite having been married for many years don’t seem to communicate in any meaningful way anymore. When their son David returns from a trip to Denmark and announces his impending marriage to a girl, Sunna, he met there who is also Icelandic.
Over an introductory lunch to their future Daughter- in- Law Gunnar deduces that his son’s girlfriend is the product of an illicit affair he had early in his marriage and is therefore his daughter although until this moment he has been unaware of her existence. Confusion is overwhelmed by panic and unsure how to approach this potentially dangerous situation he says and does nothing hoping the relationship will simply fizzle out.
Of course this is the opposite of what actually happens as not long after the initial introduction David announces that Sunna is in fact pregnant and Gunnar’s dilemma grows but still he says nothing. Disa remains blissfully unaware of her husband’s cuckoldry and therefore does the socially normal thing of inviting Sunna’s mother for a getting to know you meal not knowing what will inevitably unfold.
What does unfold in-between the awkward small talk and even more awkward silences is a twist which many of the audience will have seen coming for some time although this doesn’t actually spoil the dramatic tension but instead intensifies it.
The Homecoming does deliver as a light comedy and there are several very funny moments cleverly and convincingly interspersed with some emotional travails which ultimately make the film a satisfying whole. Certainly the plot is adventurous yet simultaneously conventional and the subject of incest is treated respectfully andin a non-judgmental manner which is beautifully shot with some great and touching performances. All in all it is a successful movie which pushes boundaries in its own and subtle way thus creating a very enjoyable cinematic experience.

The Homecoming is showing at Cineworld on Thu June 16 at 18.00 and again on Saturday 18th June at The Filmhouse at 13.15

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