Rams (Comedy, Drama) [Based on Foreign Film] (2020)
Director: Jeremy Sims
Writer: Jules Duncan (Screenplay) Grímur Hákonson (Based on original film by)
Stars: Sam Neill, Michael Caton, Miranda Richardson, Leon Ford
Two estranged brothers sharing their deceased father’s farm are in a constant battle. Owning different flocks of sheep, they compete in a competition for the best breed. That is until one of the sheep is diagnosed with a contagious disease and every flock in the area needs to be purged.
Actor and director Jeremy Sims (most famous for directing: ‘’Last Cab to Darwin’’) has recreated and reinterpreted the 2015 Icelandic film by the same name. Having it set in Western Australia instead of Iceland brings some necessary changes while sticking as close to the original film as possible.
Lengthening the original’s running time by about thirty minutes, ‘’Rams’’ attempts to redo the story created by Grímur Hákonson but in an entirely different place. Using the previous film’s storyline, it includes added scenes and characters, some roles that appeared under other names in the original are more established and get more time to develop. Due to the 2015 version having been showered in awards, it would seem to be a difficult task to make it any better or even reach the same level. In this case, however, it might’ve.
Being quite unique, ‘’Rams’’ is a lovely change of pace; it’s a tragicomedy that utilises unfortunate circumstances to push a comedic plot. There are moments in which the dramatic and depressing take the centre-stage, heavily offsetting the comedic nature yet in a way, even in those parts it still effectively uses its comedic timing
It’d almost be possible to watch both films simultaneously, being mirror images of each other. It stays very true to Hákonson’s film, sharing the majority of the scenes with slight variations. Even though personally I enjoyed the newer film the most with, the more comedic nature and its improved character development, the older film’s plot is slightly better in its dialogue, making the flow of the story make a bit more sense despite the newer iteration making perfect sense as well.
While it would be challenging to decide what’d be the ideal audience for this film, I wouldn’t dissuade anything from watching it. If you’d like to see something different in the comedy or drama genre’s this might be the ideal option. Going with either the 2015 version or the 2020 reiteration is simply down to what language, location and actors you prefer, most probably opting for the 2020 version with Sam Neill.
Rams is anything but méééh.