'Narvik' (2023) Netflix Movie. Review: Correct, not Memorable – Martin Cid Magazine – Martin Cid Magazine

Based on true events
Narvik (Kampen om Narvik – Hitlers første nederlag) is a Norwegian film directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg starring Kristine Hartgen, Carl Martin Eggesbø and Henrik Mestad.
This is a movie that despite its good work technically, does not manage to be a “great movie” which is very likely what was expected of a production like this one.
A good movie, but not memorable.
Norway, a supposedly neutral country during World War II, was a target for the Germans and  British because of the minerals and raw goods that left from the small town in the north of Norway for both war contingents. Obviously, the equilibrium was broken and Norwegians had to take part in a battle that lasted two months.
This was the first time in which Hitler´s army was defeated in the war.
And, technically speaking: the movie is pretty good tecnically. Norway has managed to re-invent itself and, thanks to occasionally spectacular productions such as the recent film Trol, offer us a festival of special effects.
This is a well-made film based on the strongest principles of the genre and seeking at all times to not let down lovers of this kind of movie…
This is the same as saying that it is also based on the formulas that have been tested one thousand times in war movies and, although it does not attempt to be original, is based on solid (cinematographic) ideas that can´t go wrong.
Very well filmed, balanced in its characters, action scenes, the script… a very good movie that will delight viewers who like war movies that are less daring, although the trend of making a story that is told on sure premises, which is always difficult will also deter other viewers who seek movies that move beyond this: there is no strong artistic intent such as what we can see in All Quiet on the Western Front, the characters lack depth and the story does not have any philosophy behind it. This is more a story that settles for showing the evident, tell a real fact and bringing heroic elements that satisfy a less critical audience.
Don´t expect the kind of movie like Paths of Glory, this movie is more a patriotic film than Apocalypse Now and wants to be a choral story narrated by the characters than an introspection of these characters.
Nonetheless, the battle scenes and those filmed at the bridge, are very well filmed. Good acting in characters that are more a collective representation (usually called clichés) that fulfil the goal of telling this true story in a correct way with no excesses of any type.
The film premiered on the 15th of December in Norway and now it reaches an international audience.
In some way, this project makes such an effort to not go beyond the “real story” that at times, it is shallow.
Correct, just about. A war movie that, in spite of its good technical aspects and some virtuosity in photography, barely scrapes by because, deep down, the creators of this movie have settled for doing the correct thing without offering anything more than just the story with no other intents.
January 23, 2023
Netflix
Erik Skjoldbjærg
A Norwegian director and screenwriter who is mostly known for co-writing and directing the film “Insomnia” and directing “Prozac Nation”. His film “Pioneer” was selected to be screened in the Special Presentation section of the International Film Festival of Toronto in 2013.
Stig Henrik Hoff
Emil Johnsen
Henrik Mestad
Christoph Bach
Magnus Dugdale
Holger Handtke
Movie title: Kampen om Narvik – Hitlers første nederlag
Movie description: April, 1940. The eyes of the world are on Narvik, a small town in northern Norway, a source of the iron ore needed for Hitler’s war machine. Through two months of fierce winter warfare, the German leader is dealt with his first defeat.
Date published: January 21, 2023
Country: Norway
Duration: 108 min.
Director(s): Erik Skjoldbjaerg
Writer(s): Christopher Grøndahl
Cinematography: John-Erling H. Fredriksen
Music: Christine Hals
Actor(s): Kristine Hartgen, Carl Martin Eggesbø, Henrik Mestad, Stig Henrik Hoff, Christoph Bach, Ollie Campbell, Magnus Dugdale
Genre: Drama, War
Companies: Nordisk Film Production AS
Review
Correct, just about. A war movie that, in spite of its good technical aspects and some virtuosity in photography, barely scrapes by because, deep down, the creators of this movie have settled for doing the correct thing without offering anything more than just the story with no other intents.
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