Beautifully told and expertly acted, Lamb is a film that takes an odd premise and delivers a moving tale that is railroaded by an unexpected and frustrating ending.
When a couple (Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason) discover a strange newborn in their barn, their lives will never be the same in Valdimar Jóhannsson’s folktale that moody, yet stunning. Rapace is at the top of her game here, exploring a range of emotions throughout the film that consume viewers’ attention and aid in distracting from the oddities of the film, instead leading one to see Lamb as a regular family drama. Where the film excels is in the choice not to lead too far into the absurd, instead tapping into common feelings that propel that story forward and force investment into the ultimate conclusion. Where Lamb fails, however, is in the sudden turn that dispels my previous statement and undermines the stellar work delivered up until then. Whatever deep themes Lamb was playing with are ultimately overshadowed and further confused by developments that I’m sure will be overanalyzed to death in order to provide justification, but nonetheless felt out of place.
Lamb is, however, cinematically beautiful and artfully delivered, never once becoming boring and absolutely the most original film I have seen in recent memory. In the end, it feels as though the film lost sight of its destination, a flaw that keeps Lamb from becoming one of the great films of our time. A horror film this is not.
Lamb hits theaters tomorrow.
Photo from The Indian Express