Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hunting Trolls Is A Thankless Job

I'd been meaning to see Trollhunter for some time, in that way where it isn't urgent, but every so often something would remind me of it and I'd think, "Right, i wanted to see that."

The story starts with three journalism majors trying to track down a mysterious bear poacher in Norway (where only a few people are given permits to hunt bears). It soon turns out that Hans is in fact hunting trolls, and that he works for the government as sort of a troll wrangler. Track them, observe them, kill them if need be. He lets the kids tag along, record him working, tells them what he does and how. Because he's tired of it. The pay is shit, the workload is far too much for one person, his bosses are unreasonable stupid bureaucrats. In other words, it is a typical government job.

The movie incorporates various stories about trolls into it, although I don't remember the one about trolls being especially sensitive to the scent of someone who believes in God. But the moment where I realized why he was leading three goats onto a bridge he knew a troll was under, that made me laugh. There's one death that leads to a change in our cast of characters, but it comes so late the new character doesn't have much chance to make an impression. She gets stuck with being the person who doesn't believe, which we already had the original three college kids for in the first half-hour.

The film does a good job of fleshing out what the job of troll hunter would involve, from paperwork to ways to keep them contained, to their biology, and so on. It was unexpected, but there's a scene where we learn Hans keeps the diagrams of the placement of boulders in a particular field, because trolls sometimes meet there to battle by chucking rocks. So he can tell if any fights have occurred recently. That was a nice scene. Otto Jespersen, who plays Hans, gives the character a sad, weary air. Kind of like Quint from Jaws, but not crazy. Basically all he has is dealing with these trolls, but it's a tiring, shitty job, and by its nature as a government job, there are things he's been required to do that weigh on him. He wants out, but he cares about both the trolls and people enough to want to do his job properly.


SallyP said...

This sounds oddly intriguing.

CalvinPitt said...

Yeah, it's pretty good.