Skjelvet (The Quake): Review by @Kush_Hayes
Skjelvet The Quake
I woke up today not knowing what I was going to do. While scrolling through twitter, I saw a tweet from a Mom & Pop theater in town, advertising a foreign film about a massive earthquake to come in Norway.
I immediately checked out the trailer, then checked the times, then after going back and forth decided I was going to see this movie. Upon traveling across town the bad neighborhood thats now the good neighborhood, I would discover this is a sequel to another disaster movie from 2015 called The Wave.
Im unfamiliar with The Wave. But its the same cast of characters with a new director and new writers. And upon mentioning the existence of this movie, several folks on Facebook recognized the 2015 feature and recommended it unironically.
The nicest thing I can say about this movie is “I want to see The Wave now”.
Going in with fresh eyes, this to me was two seperate movies mashed into one. We obviously have the popcorn earthquake disaster movie. And all of that is entertaining. More on that later.
The second movie is the Epilouge to The Wave which is a family drama about a man suffering from PTSD on a catastrophic level, who while saving his own family collapses from the weight of the guilt of all the people he could not save. But at some point and it is early in the film I found myself thinking, “yeah the kids right, you saved your family, you dont HAVE TO hang out in your Dwelling of Depression. … What is that you ask? Our lead character, our hero, has disgnated a whole room in his house as a monument to those who died during the wave. People he knew, but mostly its become an obession.
Most of this movie is him trying to reconnect with his family. And God bless them as they are the most tollerant of people giving him chance after chance only to be disapointed by him. Meanwhile a plot about predicting earthquakes unfolds during all this, keeping him from his family, giving him reason to be distant from them and continue to prove that hes not only a bad husband but a bad father. Yes, as refrenced in this movie, there are more important things in this world that your own family, there are, but this character is only displaying maddness and scapegoating a disaster that, he, himself can not adequately predict. Ill come back to this in a second.
We are treated to a series of small tremors throughout the film. The tremors are being blamed or mistaken for construction and demolition blasts underground. The translation refers to the tremors as movements. And the small tremors are all pretty unremarkable. Dont get me wrong, if youve ever been through an earthquake ever, theyre scary. No matter what size they are. And then coming back to our heros maddness, he tries to suggest that the Earthquakes are “hiding behind the underground blasts” as if they are conscious, as if they are doing this on purpos or with malice.
Finally because the titular event has to happen, for no other reason than movie, we are treated to some pretty fantastic CGI of Oslo Norway being swallowed into the earth by the Earthquake. Its all crane shots focused on the exterior of the city, never are we exposed to any interior shots of people falling victim to the natural disaster. And thats ok, its not about The People, this movie is about this one family and what theyre going through.
Through the magic of product placement our main conflict happens in Oslos Raddison highrise and again, the CGI of the building bending like the number 7 looks great. The drama of keeping this family together as the building is collapsing is not only intense, but at one point, heartbreaking.
In the end, the only thing factual about this is the movies end title card and Im paraphrasing: “Scientists agree, in the future there will be more earthquakes and they will get larger”.
I give the drama in this a five. I give the dads nonsense a 1. I give the title event a four and the characters motives a two…
… all of this averages out to a healthy Three out of Six Blueberries.