Rasmus Merivoo’s latest feature Kratt which is currently screening as part of the 2021 Sydney Underground Film Festival taps into a warped fantastical world, resurrecting the magic of fairy tales in the vein of The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen. Here the director propels the stories through a modern lens, with the impact of the internet and social media.
Part of its charm is that the story is told through the eyes of a couple of teens Mia (Nora Merivoo) and Kevin (Harri Merivoo) who are forced to stay with their Grandmother (Mari Lill) while their parents go on a spiritual retreat. Just when they think that their world is heading straight for a world of boredom, and seemingly the only people in town without wifi connection, Mia and Kevin stumble across the instructions to build their own kratt – a mythical creature formed from hay and household materials (think something similar to the golem). The promise that the kratt could bring them wealth and fortune is an opportunity that they are not willing to miss and bring some much needed life into their dull lives.
All does not go according to plan however as the kratt enters into the body of their grandmother and the kids are compelled to find work for her for fear that the entity may turn on them at any given moment.
There are moments where Merivoo blends the quirkiness of eccentric locals from business guru to an occult-like group dedicated to facebook, and wielding torches at the first sign of trouble, and mop-headed priest, who believes he may be of service to
The kids through the power of God.
Merivoo taps into the old-Estonian folklore and places it firmly in a modern-day setting, but keeps the quirks embedded into the tale to bring a little edge to the scene.
There is subtle humour on display here too with performances played with tongues firmly in cheek adding a little flavour to the narrative along the way.
- Saul Muerte