TIFF15: How Heavy This Hammer

A middle-aged man escapes the pressures of his life through videogames in How Heavy This Hammer. Erwin (Erwin Van Cotthem) is a middle-aged father of two, who is beginning to feel the effects of a midlife crisis. When he is not playing rugby with his buddies, he spends hours playing a real-time strategy video game, which results in Erwin losing sleep and progressively becoming more distant towards his family.

How Heavy This Hammer is the second feature film from director Kazik Radwanski (Tower). The film expands a bit on the themes of Radwanski’s previous film, by having Erwin be somewhat of an anti-social jerk, who has never really been able to settle into the responsibilities of adulthood. He leaves most of the parental responsibilities to his wife, while he spends the majority of his time playing a viking video game and imagining how his life would have been like in the viking age.

In many ways, How Heavy This Hammer is a very sad story, since it seems that Erwin might not be able to find an escape from this midlife crisis rut that he finds himself in. There are some moments in the film when it seems like Erwin is going to become a more responsible person, however he just ends up falling right back to the place where he started. Overall, How Heavy This Hammer is a poignant and realistic depiction of midlife crisis, which will leave you feeling both sympathy and spite towards the lead protagonist.

 ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT 


  • Tuesday, September 15, 5:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).