As offbeat, playful and romantic as you’d expect from Basque director Julio Medem, Lovers Of The Arctic Circle weaves haunting patterns of fate and coincidence around the star-crossed love affair between step-siblings Otto and Ana (yes, both names are palindromes), from their childhood in Spain to their final entwined destinies in Lapland.
Medem plays non-linear games with his narrative, teasing us with scenes and images that only reveal their full meaning later. Some things are explained, some aren’t – we never learn what young Otto wrote on a paper dart that so captivated both Ana and her mother. But then that’s Medem’s point – so much in life isn’t explicable, least of all love.
If you like things neat and tidy, Lovers may strike you as irritatingly tricksy. But surrender to Medem’s emotional vision and the beauty of his images and it’s a beguiling treat.