Fantasia International Film Festival brings the genre-bending Estonian film, Kratt, to North American audiences. Written and directed by Rasmus Merivoo (Buratino Son of Pinocchio), Kratt follows young siblings as they are left to spend time with their grandmother. Stuck in a rural town with no internet, no cell phones, and nothing but chores to do, the kids decide to try to create a mythic entity known as a “kratt” which will do all of your work for you. The ensuing chaos is like some twisted, modern, dark take on a fairy tale that is both disturbing and hilarious. It’s the kind of story that is so bizarre that you never know what will come next.
The one word I think best describes Kratt is quirky. Everything from the plot, to the music, to the ridiculous twists and turns comes across as a fun morality tale shown from the point of view of children, while still being a very adult story. The mythos of the film is incredibly unique and unlike anything I’ve seen before. There are certain subplots that don’t make a ton of sense, but that could also be a cultural aspect that viewers not from Estonia won’t pick up on. The two young leads, Nora Merivoo and Harri Merivoo (both making their acting debut), are a delight and Mari Lill (Sputnik planety Uran, Jüri Rumm), who plays Grandma, delivers a laugh-out-loud performance. This film is sure to be one of the most memorable films at the Fantasia International Film Festival this year.
Kratt is a wacky, modern slapstick take on classic morality fairy tales that reminds us of the important balance between work and play.
OVERALL RATING: 7/10