When it was over and I was talking to Bjorn about it, his first comment was that it was Dark. Very Dark. And my next thought was that that had not been my first thought at all. Somber, sure. Morally complex and non-heroic, yes. But I guess when I think Dark I think darkly humerous or twisted and this wasn't that way. It was more real life than dark to me. A darker or sadder shade of real life, to be sure.
Bjorn's friend then said that she found the movie to be too self-aware. And we both came up with moments when you definitely slip out of the movie and think - "oh, they're doing this to create tension," or "look at that lighting," or "why the fly? It's only there, in this one shot on her nipple, and you never see it before or after, so why? And how many tries did it take to get that shot?"
I thought the cast did a terrific job, the story being what it was. I could see why it was referred to as Dostoyevskian. Very internal conflict, not much external (though some does occur). It's a little confusing, it takes a while to be able to figure out which scenes are flashbacks and which ones are "current" -there were definitely scenes I thought were current that I had to mentally adjust in my sense of the storyline later when I knew more about it.
But it starts with the two men fishing a dead woman out of the river. And there's some suggestion that Joe (Macgregor's character) knows her, so I guess that sets you up to expect flashbacks, and I was expecting them, but it still took me a turn to figure out which they were and get into the swing of it. They don't give it all away at once, see, because they don't show the dead woman's face.
It was interesting. I liked it. I don't want to say too much about it because I think that would spoil it and I find that I would indeed recommend it.
So there you go.