Starring: Hildigunn Eyðfinsdóttir, Sigri Mitra Gaïni, Johan Dalsgaard
Director: Katrin Ottarsdóttir
Running Time: 97 mins
Bye Bye Bluebird is a Danish/Faroese film about two women who return from years abroad to their home of the Faroe Islands, but their now larger-than-life personalities clash with the small island community as they cross the archipelago on a bizarre road trip.
This isn’t an amazing film, nor is it particularly underwhelming. With a quirky and fun-loving atmosphere that goes well with an engaging story about returning home, Bye Bye Bluebird is a film that you can watch and enjoy, although it struggles to go any further and bring any genuine emotional intrigue to the table, or hilarious comedy for that matter, meaning it’s not a hugely memorable or enthralling watch.
The best thing about this film, however, is that it’s a nice little window into the Faroe Islands, a place you’ve likely not been to, and maybe don’t even know that much about. However, by depicting the clash of cultures between two women who have adapted the European continental way of life and those people who are accustomed to island living, you get a good and interesting insight into the local culture, something that’s always great to see in a film.
What’s more is that it makes use of the setting’s amazing landscapes to bring a bit more light and joy to the movie. While this is a comedy, the bulk of the story surrounding the two women’s return to the islands is rather black, with their now boisterous personalities leading to all sorts of problems for the more reserved locals. However, with the beautiful scenery of the Faroe Islands set behind these somewhat darker events, the film in general feels a lot brighter and more fun than you’d expect, and travelling around on a road trip with three relatively annoying characters is so much more pleasant because of the visuals.
However, another surprising positive about this film is that the characters aren’t that annoying. In comparison to an Icelandic film with a similar premise, Devil’s Island, Bye Bye Bluebird manages to make its two loud and boisterous leads surprisingly tolerable. In part due to decent performances from Hildigunn Eyðfinsdóttir and Sigri Mitra Gaïni, but also in part thanks to the quirky and comedic screenplay that means their characters aren’t that annoying at all, something that played a huge part in my ability to sit back and enjoy this film.
Despite that, just sitting back and enjoying this film didn’t feel like enough for me. While it is a pleasant watch, and an unorthodox window into the world of the Faroe Islands, it’s not all that enthralling a film. It does have a deeper, dramatic story to it, and attempts to bring some emotional intrigue to the table by tying in the two leads’ backgrounds with their return to their home, but that’s not ever really interesting enough, often falling foul to a perhaps overly light-hearted atmosphere that just doesn’t set the right mood for something more dramatic.
On the whole, I did enjoy Bye Bye Bluebird. It’s a pleasant, quirky and unorthodox film, and one that you can sit back and have fun with for an hour and a half, but beyond that, it doesn’t have all that much to it, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.3.