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Film / Under the Tree

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Under the Tree (Icelandic: Undir trénu) is a 2017 black comedy written and directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson.

Iceland is one of the most notoriously gloomy places in the world, so it's only natural that Icelandic people enjoy it the few times they can a year.

When Eybjorg (Selma Björnsdóttir) complains to her neighbors Inga & Baldvin (Edda Björgvinsdóttir & Sigurður Sigurjónsson) about their tree causing an overcast over her backyard, her grievance is not met in kind. When Eybjorg's husband Konrad (Þorsteinn Bachmann) and their neighbors' son Atli (Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson) get involved, matters only get worse from there.


Under the Tree contains examples of:

  • Chekhov's Gun: The tree, obviously, has significance later. It falls on Alti.
  • Cranky Neighbor: Inga doesn't seem like a very pleasant to live near — or with, for that matter.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The movie begins from Atli's perspective, but he takes a backseat to his parents and their neighbors once the plot kicks in.
  • Downer Ending: Alti has possibly died from the tree accident and left his daughter without a father, Baldvin & Konrad have killed one another, and Inga & Eybjorg have been widowed by each other's spouses. Plus, the dog remains dead and taxidermied.
  • Kick the Dog: Inga euthanizing her neighbors' dog, having him stuffed, and left on their doorstep brings her to the point of no return.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: The tree eventually involves everyone (and everything) that comes near it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Poor Communication Kills: Specifically, two (possibly three) of the characters, and one animal.
  • Posthumous Character: Uggi, Alti's brother, has died of suicide sometime before the movie.
  • Trophy Wife: Eybjorg is conveyed as being this to Konrad, because of her looks and age.
  • Uncertain Doom: Alti's fate after the tree falls on him is never revealed.
  • The Unseen: Konrad's first wife is only mentioned, and never seen.
  • Wham Shot: After the husbands have fatally wounded one another, Inga sees her cat in their yard. Cut to black..