The Dream Stream
Thomas Ohman, a professional photographer who has lots of experience from making TV for the Swedish Television, takes us on a mad mans trip to the northern part of Sweden.
Through heavy winds, enormous amounts of rain, frosty nights and deep, marshy swamps he pulls and pushes his canoe loaded to the edge with fishing gear, cameras, tent and food for 4 weeks into the wilderness.
Well, for most of us, it is a trip, we may do once in our life, but Thomas is different. Seven summers in a row he packs his total set-up and goes to the same areas to get the recordings and pictures he wants and see if he can get some better ones than what he got last year.
Definitely a one man's project way beyond the ordinary.
The film is based on his aiming for large "mountain trout" and graylings close to a kilo/2 lbs. This searching takes us upstream narrow creeks and out on the open lakes and downstream on larger rivers accompanied by the soundtrack of birds whistles and pictures of the scenery and animal life.
As the film is produced from the very start to the very end by one man only, the effects are limited. There are no zooms, running sequences or panoramas, creative use of the aperture or the like. For that reason alone, the picture becomes a bit un-dynamic and predictable.
I know, I cannot expect anything else from such a one-man-movie. It is what it is, but worse is that I can't feel the pressure or the hardship Thomas goes through. The story is missing as I see it. The weight should have been more on preparing the trips, the thoughts behind and describing the journey towards the sequences finally chosen in the cutting room.
Instead the focus is too much on watching Thomas, a grayling and yet another one and yet - and then a trout, a bigger trout and -
The pictures are however, stunning from time to time, and you can only imagine how much time it must have taken to get a sequence of a trout taking a fly and then fighting and cutting the recordings and mix them to pretend to have an uncut sequence of one take, one fish and one fight.
However, the camera work and professionalism is not enough to capture me for almost 2 hours. The idea and the road to achievement of the goal are praiseworthy but the humor and the not-so-perfect sequences from the behind the scenes chapter of the DVD should have been more a part of the movie.
It would have lifted it to an authentic level showing the real battle Thomas fought to make this film and revealed his whole philosophy.
Behind the scenes part includes scenes where you see some of the real Thomas and how he made the movie, fighting the weather, mosquitoes, gnats and recordings which turned out unexpectedly, and last but not least how he had to redo everything and retake the sequence 4-5 times.
But during a cold and dark winter night the recordings of sunshine in the early dusks and fish feeding in the surface, small dries and a class #1 rod will make everyone dream or bring back memories.
All in all you are of course much better off by having a camera man, a sound man and maybe even a team to make an eye catching movie. The Dream Stream is an extraordinary example of how far you can go just by yourself if you are willing to make the effort, but as a piece of fly fishing entertainment it just doesn't take me all the way.
Playtime: 105 minutes + 30 minutes of bonus features.
Format: 16:9 widesceen
Sound: Stereo, Swedish narration, English subtitles
July and August 2003-2009