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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Max Manus (Max Manus: Man of War)


Some of you perhaps recall that I do not like war movies and you may also noticed that lately I have seen a few about WWII some better than others. But in my opinion there is a big difference between European war movies and let’s say, Hollywood war movies. The later are more action driven, while the Europeans are more drama driven. Max Manus not only is a biopic with not too many artistic licenses, but also has a great tale about a real-life man with a colorful life full of not so usual “adventures” that was able to hurt the Germans in occupied Norway. It is an entertaining mainstream movie that does not look much like your usual Hollywood fare.

I find the story and production values similar to the Danish Flammen & Citronen or the Dutch Zwartboek (Black Book) as this movie tells about a Norway resistance hero that from improvisation went to training in Scotland, to end up blowing famous German war ships and to become one of the most wanted by the local Gestapo, who never was able to kill him, even when he was captured once.

Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg the film has good production values that make an easy to watch and very entertaining film. By the way, I’m sure that most of the blog readers know the work of these directors, as surely many have seen the Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek film Bandidas that was directed by this duo. The film has nice cinematography and some puzzling scenes with hand-held camera that intensify the drama on the screen.

The movie was honored with many awards at the 2009 Amanda Awards including Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Actor to Aksel Hennie that plays a very credible Max Manus, andBest Supporting Actress to Agnes Kitelsen that plays Tikken Lindebrække, his contact in Sweden and eventually his wife (that you do not see it in the film, but the film motivated me to read about the real life Max Manus and I enriched my world History knowledge with this interesting hero real bio).

I enjoyed the movie as an interesting piece of Norway History in an entertaining drama about an unusual war hero and as such I do recommend it.

Enjoy!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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