Drama Movie

Hvalfjörður The Redemption of Love

Analysis of the short film “Valley of the Whale.The whale that should be running freely in the sea is stranded on a deserted beach and dying, and the man who should have a good life is lost in the shackles of loneliness and gradually dies. The short film “Valley of the Whale” tells the story of Anar, who lives in a deserted and isolated island, in an environment full of depression and indifference, and is redeemed by the warm love of his brother Ivar, conveying humanistic concern and the call for freedom.

The shackles have built a barren valley, and the call for freedom is to break free. In the endless valley, Anar is experiencing the confusion of life, he is suppressed by the living environment, life circumstances and struggle. The film uses metaphorical symbols to reflect the cold and coarse environment of Northern Europe and the desolate and lonely state of mind of the characters in the film, such as the whale, the state of the whale shown by the suicidal act of stranding is a representation of Arnald’s inner environment – waiting for death but unable to escape. The family environment makes Anar bound by the uninteresting and unfeeling life and unable to escape but trapped in this barren valley, ropes, nets, fences, gates and other visual elements reveal this sense of bondage through the language of the camera. The imagery symbol of the road throughout the film, the sound of the sea that accompanies the camera, the shots of the car driving, the shots of walking towards the sea, etc., metaphorically indicate that this is a road to freedom by breaking the bondage. Under the bondage of the shoal, the whale can only pray for the sea to bring it back to the sea and regain its freedom, and under the bondage of survival and life, Anar can only break free through death.

The heart gradually dies in indifference, and the warmth awakens about the redemption of humanity. The film takes the family as the main narrative object, and portrays the dullness and depression caused by the family of origin, such as in the film where a family of four eats together with a close up scene to let the audience further feel the dullness and indifference of the four faces, the camera transitions and then puts the whole picture in the frame composition, without the rendering of music and sound, the sense of indifference comes out, it is in this kind of environment where no love is felt. It is in this environment that Anar’s hopelessness about life is caused, and it is only in this environment that the suicidal tendencies arise again and again. In the film, Anar is a fading image, just like the whale stranded and gradually dying, while Ivar acts as a listener and savior, a representative of human warmth, whether it is the shot of Ivar listening to the whale’s breath or experiencing Anar’s hanging, it is an alternate perspective of feeling. This is a story of redemption linked by brotherly love, in which the sense of indifference and depression of life is included, pointing directly to the social status quo where people feel less and less warmth and love and are depressed, inspiring people to have more humanistic care of listening and communication, which can make humanity beautiful and life more warm.

The narrative text is chosen to reflect the social reality in an allegorical way. The film “Valley of the Whale” uses the phenomenon of whale stranding to depict the state of life of people on this island who are waiting for death and unable to change. In today’s modern life, the lack of communication and humanistic care has gradually alienated interpersonal relationships, and the lack of love and existence has filled the whole society, causing depression among many modern people. The tragic reality is revealed through allegory.

The Valley of the Whale” is an allegorical story that exposes the current situation of society and conveys humanistic concern as a solution to the current situation. In the barren valley, there are depressed people who have lost their sense of existence, and the warmth of human hearts brings them closer to each other, accomplishing the redemption of love.

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