Simmering resentments and raging hormones dominate this estrogen-heavy two-hander.
Simmering resentments and raging hormones dominate the drama in “The Mountain,” as a bickering lesbian couple try to save their relationship by revisiting the site of a tragedy two years before. Debuting Norwegian helmer-writer Ole Glaever reworks themes from his short films, such as grief and miscommunication, in this estrogen-heavy two-hander, which should be in demand at gay fests and femme-centered events.
As the backstories of tightly wound, dark-haired Nora (theater thesp Marie Magnusdotter Solem, the helmer’s wife) and scatty blonde Solveig (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) are gradually revealed over the course of a four-day, very Norwegian hiking and camping trek, the majestic snowy landscape becomes a supporting character in the narrative, reflecting their inner emotions. A little of this conceit goes a long way, however. Filled with closeups of talking heads, what could have been a visually oppressive chamber piece gets a free aesthetic boost from the wild nature in the background. Thesps convincingly evince a range of emotions, but montage and framing keep viewers aware that they’re always watching a performance (an effect furthered by the women’s ever-perfect lipstick). Shot without government support, tech package is pro.