How Heavy This Hammer: TIFF 15 Review

How Heavy This Hammer


September 17, 2015  – Middle-aged father Erwin (Erwin Van Cotthem) has hit a mid-life crisis.  He disconnects from life and his fatherly duties by playing rugby, getting drunk, and staying up all night playing his favorite online video game. His sleep ultimately suffers, taking a toll on his relationship with his family. His two sons love their father and desperately want to enjoy his company, but become frustrated by his lack of attention and responsiveness. His wife Kate (Kate Ashley) fails to connect with him, to the detriment of their marriage.  He ends up moving out of the house, and taking a short-term rental above a restaurant. What seems like only days later, Erwin tries to overcome his loneliness by adopting a shelter dog and entering the dating scene. Missing the love and companionship of his family, he attempts to return home but his wife is the wiser, catching his lies and knowing all too well that he has not changed.

Director Kazik Radwanski (Tower – 2012) delivers a realistic portrait of a character trying to break free from his humdrum existence.  The entire flick is shot with handheld cameras that feature dizzying close-ups of the cast throughout, providing a distinct cinematic effect of feeling trapped.  Long shots only appear when the scene flashes to Erwin’s computer screen, featuring a primitive, online Viking strategy game that provides, if only for a moment, the escape from life Erwin yearns for.

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