Noi the Albino

Reviewed By Dr Nick
Posted 10/23/03 10:18:51

"Funny, sad, surreal…..great stuff"
5 stars (Awesome)

This Icelandic black comedy is one of the best things I’ve seen all year. Very sad, but also extremely funny, Noi Albinoi hits all the right notes. A simple story about a 17-year-old-boy trying to kill time in his remote Icelandic hometown.

Noi is a 17 year-old albino, living in a small Icelandic town. As there is absolutely nothing else to do, all the other kids seem content with going to school and doing their homework. Noi however, wants something else out of life. Doing all he can to avoid school, he tries to find other ways to pass the time. When he meets Iris, a young girl working at a local café, he starts dreaming about going away with her.

You can really feel Noi’s frustration. Stuck in a town where the entire population seem to have accepted boredom as an inherent quality of life, Noi desperately wants to get away. After repeated warnings, he is finally expelled from school. Desperate to get some money to get away, he tries his luck at crime. Armed with a shotgun Noi tries to rob the town’s only bank, is ridiculed by the cashier and thrown out, only to return moments later to grudgingly withdraw some money legally.
His plan to steal a car and drive away fails as well and finally he is forced to take a job as a grave digger (not an easy job in the Icelandic winter).

In a film like Reykavik 101, Iceland was portrayed as place where people enjoy life to the full, where people make up for their isolation from the rest of the world and shitty climate by having a non-stop party. Here, nobody even tries to escape their grey, dull reality. The streets are empty and so are the restaurants and bars.

The acting is great, especially Tomas Lemarquis, who does a great job as Noi. The film looks great. Shot in a cold, blueish light, it never tries to glamorize the barren Icelandic landscape. Maybe not a film that will bring flocks of tourists to the country, but hopefully it will bring people to the theatres.

Noi the Albino is a funny, sad, heart warming story about how difficult it is being different. One of the best films I've seen all year.

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