Breaking Surface 2020 Movie Moa Gammel lighting a flare to signal a plane flying over her

Breaking Surface [2020]

Being a sucker for water movies, I couldn’t resist checking out Breaking Surface, a Norwegian/Swedish thriller unfolding in real-time. To be more precise, this is an underwater movie and as such it reminded me of 47 Meters Below, Pressure, Sanctum and even Dark Tide. Only without any sharks. You can expect sleek and stylish cinematography, a usual feature of almost all Nordic movies. I think that the latest example was the disaster movie Bølgen AKA The Wave [2015].

I especially liked the underwater shots, like the one with the ship inspections. You simply don’t think about these things, that someone has to actually get so close to that giant propeller and check it out. However, the glorious shots were not just under the water. The snow-covered mountains with green forests and landscape that looks so wild and untamed contributed greatly to this overwhelming feeling of awe in front of such a display of power and beauty.

Ida and Tuva are two half-sisters who are finally on their way to a secluded diving spot in Norway. With their mother’s failing health it will also give them an opportunity to spend some time together and bond. As experienced divers, they have all the equipment they need and more, but sometimes things just go wrong no matter how well you’ve prepared…

This being a diving movie you can’t help but wonder what on Earth makes someone dive into freezing cold water? However, once you see this underwater world, the whole thing looks much more logical. Breaking Surface is a fun and thrilling high-concept movie that knows its limitations. With a run time of just over 75 minutes, it’s a short and sweet ride that will get you in the mood for other similar movies. Perhaps the best option would be Norwegian Pionér from 2013, a much more serious movie about deep diving. Although some older movies like DeepStar Six, The Deep and Leviathan are also good choices.

Unlike all of them, Breaking Surface tries to remain as realistic as possible especially when it comes to the technical stuff. However, it kind of breaks under the high pressures of such a simplistic concept and struggles for air after halfway through. It starts to drag on and all this pressure that’s been building up kind of disappears. If they added a couple of more characters or spent more time setting up the location, this would be a much, much better movie. This way, it’s great for one viewing and I’m sure that diving enthusiasts will find it immensely interesting.

Director: Joachim Hedén

Writer: Joachim Hedén

Cast: Moa Gammel, Madeleine Martin, Trine Wiggen, Jitse Jonathan Buitnik, Remi Alashkar, Alessio Barreto, Irma Jenny Hallberg

Fun Facts: Budget was $4 million


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