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LimeGreenLegend

Max Manus: Man of War [RSC Film Club 17]

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LimeGreenLegend

War was the theme for May's film club, with the winning film being Max Manus: Man of War nominated by @Lann.  Max Manus is a Norwegian biographical film detailing the exploits of resistance fighter and saboteur, Max Manus and is based on books that he wrote himself.  

Max Manus (2008) Poster #1 - Trailer Addict

It was directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales and stars Aksel Hennie as Manus.  The film is one of the biggest recent hits of Norwegian cinema, winning a record seven Amanda awards (the Norwegian Oscars) in 2009 at the Norwegian International Film Festival.  

I've not seen, nor heard of this film before, so can't say much else, but you can't really go wrong with resistance fighters kicking n*zi *ss.  It will also be interesting to see some history of a country that doesn't get mentioned much when WW2 films are made.

my country was stolen from me, and I want it back

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Con

Looks interesting. Not gonna read about it past the first few sentences. It’s giving me the feeling of “what if one of the Inglorious Basterds got his own movie” ... like a spin-off feature. I’ve always enjoyed films from Scandinavian Cinema, so looking forward to watching this. 
 

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doubleg213

I've not had a chance to watch it as yet. 

I have it on DVD (sorted in nice sensible alphabetical order of course) and remember it enjoying it first time aruond, I shall get to it over the next couple of days I hope.

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LimeGreenLegend
1 minute ago, doubleg213 said:

I've not had a chance to watch it as yet. 

I have it on DVD (sorted in nice sensible alphabetical order of course) and remember it enjoying it first time aruond, I shall get to it over the next couple of days I hope.

When I owned physical films I used to order them alphabetically by director.  Used to drive my more OCD mates mad 😄 

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djw180

 

I'd liked this film. I enjoy history so I liked learning about a real figure I had not heard of who had a huge personal impact on the outcome of the war, and suffered mentally for it. I also liked learning more about a topic I knew only a little about, the German occupation of Norway. It's good film all round, but with a couple of minor issues that at times meant the film just didn't feel as good as it could have been.

The main resistance fighters didn't seem to grasp the reality of what they were getting into at first. Maybe that is just reflecting how people did actually behave at the start of the war and my view watching it is biased by me knowing what happened in terms of the reprisals that the occupying armies carried out on civilians. But they just didn't seem to take what they were getting into seriously enough.

Some of sabotage attacks on the ships appeared to be in daylight, which I find implausible. Maybe that was just so we could see what was going on better, or maybe they did actually carry out daylight attacks, but I find that very hard to believe.

The settings just didn't feel 1940s at times. One scene near the beginning when Manus and the other budding resistance fighters meet up on the roof of a building – that looked more modern than 40s to me. Maybe that's because the film makers just didn't have the budget to make proper 40s sets?

Personally I would have like more of Manus' story. Reading up on this after watching the film there was a lot more they could have put it, I guess the film makers wanted to keep the running time down, but I quite like long historical epics. This could have been a great 3 hour film for me. His journey to Britain after his escape from the hospital was remarkable, via the Soviet Union, USA and Canada! There is also the irony of how things can change in war. At the beginning we see him fighting in Finland along with other Norwegian volunteers against the Soviet invaders, and events which he can never forget. But things can change dramatically in war. Germany invaded the Soviet Union and so became Finland's ally. I think, although I'm not 100% on this, the main effect of Max Manus' sabotage was on ships the Germans were using to supply their troops fighting in Finland against the Soviets. So his former ally was now his enemy, his former enemy was now his ally and he was doing all he could to help them. Maybe this contributed to his PTSD?

I really like the ending though. The shot were he is alone in his apartment silhouetted against the Norwegian flag is brilliant. And in that scene we get a real sense of his turmoil now the war is over but so many of his friends and comrades did not live to see it.

 

I'll give this 7/10.

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