Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Does the sight of people falling over make you laugh? Then this film may be for you. Because this is one for lovers of slapstick only. Fiona (Fiona Gordon) works in a fast-food restaurant and one night, as she's closing up, she accidentally shuts herself in the freezer. Her dopey husband Julien (Dominique Abel) fails to notice she is even gone and, when she manages to get out, she becomes obssessed with ice and with finding her freedom. This leads her to run away on a mini-quest which sees her hook up with a deaf-mute fisherman.

The plot isn't really the important thing, here, however, it is the slapstick. This is physical comedy through and through with every scene being pushed to extremes for laughs using hardly any dialogue. Sometimes this works quite successfully and sometimes it fails quite spectacularly. The biggest problem is that physical comedy can become tiring. While it might be fun to laugh at carefully crafted slapstick for half an hour, it's hard for it to maintain its momentum for the duration of a feature.

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Iceberg also suffers from a bargain-basement budget. Waves crashing over the side of a boat are clearly being represented by people slinging buckets of water around and, while that might be considered part of the joke, it only adds to the 'sketch show' feel of the whole. The production values are low in general - with a fly clearly walking across the camera lens at one point. The film's biggest problem, however, is that its narrative isn't strong enough to carry the funny business.

Gordon and Abel are clearly masters of their art but pushing everything to the limit to find some comedy actually has the effect of slowing down the movie, making its modest runtime feel curiously long. The ending, too, is suggested at the beginning and is therefore so predictable that it holds little interest. Your enjoyment of this film will also probably depend on how your fellow audience members are finding it. Personally, Iceberg left me cold.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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Slapstick comedy about a runaway wife obsessed with ice.
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Director: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy

Writer: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy

Starring: Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Philippe Martz, Robin Goupil, Ophelie Rousseau, Therese Fichet, Georges Jore, Louis Lecouvreur, Bruno Romy

Year: 2005

Runtime: 94 minutes

Country: Belgium


EIFF 2006

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