Film Screening 6th September, 2011

Poster for Max Manus

Max Manus 

8:00 PM, 6th September, 2011

  • M
  • 113 mins
  • 2008
  • Joachim Rønning,  Espen Sandberg
  • Thomas Nordseth-Tiller
  • Aksel Hennie,  Nicolai Cleve Broch, Agnes Kittelsen

Based on the experiences of a real-life World War Two Norwegian resistance fighter, Max Manus tells the story of how a one-time reckless propagandist came to be one of the most brilliant and successful saboteurs fighting against the Nazi occupation of Oslo, Norway.

Utilising a decidedly romantic and traditional style of filmmaking more akin to a big-budget Hollywood production, this homegrown film was, at the time of its release, the most expensive Norwegian film ever made. And it definitely shows on-screen, with vast, sweeping cinematography, minutely detailed recreations of wartime Norway and thrilling (if somewhat restrained, given the subject matter) action scenes. The film’s impressive achievements extend beyond the technical, however; Manus (Hennie) is a highly flawed and fascinating character, who starts off the film arrogant to the point of essentially asking to be arrested. He is gradually shaped by the strong personal cost of his fight against the Nazis, which only increases as the bonds between him and his crack saboteur team, mostly made up of Manus’s old friends, strengthen in the face of adversity.

Those of you expecting another dry retelling of Second World War history needn’t despair; Max Manus delivers equal parts blockbuster action, history, friendship and tragic romance and is an excellent time at the movies for anyone after a film delivered on a truly epic scale.

Bryan Pike