Directed by Dagur Kári
Characterized by a deadpan humor and a keen dramatic insight, “Virgin Mountain” is an Icelandic romantic comedy whose original title is ‘Fúsi’, the name of its central character. The international title is pretty suggestive, though, because Fúsi is an obese bachelor who, at the age of 43, is still a virgin and lives with his mother.
Masterfully played by Gunnar Jónsson, a well-known comedian in his country, the bashful Fúsi is addicted to padthai, loves to listen to hard rock, works at the airport ground service where he’s often bullied by his co-workers, and has a special interest in World War II themes, inclusively having a miniature model of the Battle of Alamein with which he occasionally plays with his best friend, Mordur (Sigurjón Kjartansson). His behavior swings between a spoiled child, when he plays outdoors with a remote controlled car or at home with a little neighbor girl, and a more mature person, when he smokes a joint with Mordur, describing him the awkward moment when he saw his mother (Margrét Helga Jóhannsdóttir) being hammered by Rolf (Arnar Jónsson), her boyfriend, on the kitchen table.
Whichever the case, Fúsi always shows a grandiose heart and never refuses to help someone when solicited, not even the ones who ruffle him with stupid pranks at work.
The nagging Rolfe constantly urges him to fight the battles of daily life instead of wasting time with stupid war games. So, he decides to offer him dancing classes. His mother strongly encourages him to go but Fúsi couldn’t even get out of the car. However, he befriends with Sjofn (Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir), one of the dancers who asks him for a lift since the weather wasn’t so inviting to walk.
After the second dancing class, they have pad Thai together and get to know a little bit more about each other's lives. Fúsi didn’t know he was falling for a highly depressive woman whose life wasn’t as she had described.
Cruel and humane to the same extent, “Virgin Mountain”, was directed by Dagur Kári, whose impressive first work, “Noi the Albino”, I had the opportunity to watch a few years ago.
Despite slightly tremulous in the last act and the sensation that I already had seen some of its scenes, Mr. Kari finds a way to inject fresh details, bestowing the essential offbeat tones to make it interesting. Gunnar Jónsson excels.