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Heavy Snow 

When crystallized, Snow's themes are poignant

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Waves of tragedy crash ceaselessly on a Sri Lankan refugee who moves to Nova Scotia in this bleak film by Rohan Fernando. When her family dies in the 2004 tsunami, Parvati (newcomer Kalista Zackhariyasits) immigrates to Canada to stay with her strict relatives and work at a dismal motel. Therein she befriends fellow wounded souls, like a suicidal motel guest (Sobaz Benjamin) and a homeless troubadour (Ria Mae). Snow’s strongest moments shine through in operatic, underwater flashbacks to Parvati’s near death, but overall Zackhariyasits’ sunken performance and isolated character make for a tiring protagonist. A mid-movie gear shift into a Cape Breton road trip is clunky, but at least wakes the movie up from its own haze. When they crystallize, Snow’s themes are poignant and affecting, but mostly the movie is dragged down by its own weight.

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