What would it take for you to reach your breaking point? Often you see stories in the news of someone getting there and becoming someone they are not and committing a heinous crime, one that is often out of revenge. In some places in the world “an eye for an eye” is an acceptable form of justice, while in most it is not. While you might condone the act publicly, I think most, depending on the situation, might actually agree with it. For most people they are shaking their heads right now, but with the question I asked before, being faced with your breaking point, it can change everything.
Zaid (Dar Salim) is a successful doctor who has it all. He has privilege, a beautiful wife and a child on the way, his life is as good as it gets. Zaid’s brother lives the opposite type of life and gets in situations that are way above his head. When it gets to deep, he comes begging for Zaid’s help only to be turned away because of his cries for ‘wolf’ in the past. That turns out being a mistake for Zaid, as soon his brother is found clinging to life, a life he would lose shortly. Zaid feels responsible and when the police seem to be doing nothing, he starts to ask around to find out what happened to his brother. Zaid comes from a different world and soon realizes the man he is will not allow him to survive in this new world he is entering into and that he must become something else to survive.
The art of a good revenge flick can be such a thin line to walk. It may seem like an easy formula to follow, which unfortunately doesn’t account for the numerous bad revenge films, and boy can they be bad. With so many bad ones out there, when you do come across a gem, one like “DarkLand” you appreciate them more. Writers Adam August and Fenar Ahmad, the later also directing deliver what can best be described as a Danish treat. The story is gritty and feels relevant in today’s culture, not the revenge factor, but the fact that Zaid is an immigrant who has made his life better while contributing to society. It is Salim’s portrayal of Zaid that makes everything come together for this film, as you can see the internal struggle his character has with his decisions. The transformation is chilling, as you see a man pushed to become something he didn’t think he could be possible. “Darkland” is a very satisfying and beautifully shot film with a solid ending. So seek this film out and see revenge film done right, a rarity in the sub-genre.