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Erik Poppe's history depiction "The King's Choice" (original title
"Kongens nei") is about the Norwegian royal King and governments
reaction to being invaded by Hitler-Germany on the 9th of April 1940.
Erik Poppe has made the brilliant "Trouled water", "Hawaii Oslo", "Schpaaa" and "A thousand times good night", but has outdone himself here, maybe only equaled by "Troubled water". The script is based upon the history telling book by Roy Jacobsen, and is written by Norwegian novelist and re-known script writer Harald Rosenløw-Eeg.
The film depicts what happened in the of the most defining days of the Norwegian democracy, where the Danish born king, after 35 years after being chosen as the King of Norway after his arrival in 1905, when Norway decided to become a kingdom. We also follow the Norwegian government, and how the military reacted to the shock of being invaded by the Third Reich power.
I must say that this film simply could not be depicted more correctly. Except for the King and the Crown prince actually was driven in a newer DeSoto, which only war nerds and aficionados would know, this is painstakingly accurate.
The film is no action movie, but a historic drama, and as such it fulfills my expectations as the best Norwefian war movie to date. Though the film has some action filled sequences, the main thing is the choices that has to be made which defines this drama. And not only the King's choice, but also the when fie was to be called against the war ships and the German troops in their chase of the king. The troubled government which not at all were able to show the same determination as the king, and so on. Many difficult choices.
The film isn't at all afraid of dwelling at these choices, and this makes my day. The film making is really heartfelt, and the instruction of the actors are superb. Danish actor Jesper Christensen is simply jaw-dropping in his role as King Haakon the 7th, and Anders Baasmo Christensen isn't far behind in his role as Crown Prince Olav. However, Austian actor Karl Markovics is simply stunning as Kurt Bräuer. And I could go on. Many great roles! Poppe is a criminally great instructor and director.
And it would have been a catastrophe of epic proportions if this film had taken short cuts. Thank God they didn't. The film is not only accurate and defining history telling, it's also a mile stone in Norwegian cinema and film history.
"Kongens nei', a.k.a. "The King's choice", is a dramatic film that
depicts how the Norwegian King Haakon VII (Jesper Christensen) decided
the participation of Norway in the World War II immediately after the
unexpected German invasion on 09 April 1940. This important historic
event is unknown for most of the people around the world what makes
this film unique. The screenplay follows the royal family from the eve
of the German invasion until the moment they flee to outside the
Norwegian border and seems to be very accurate. The great direction and
performances associated to an excellent screenplay gives the sensation
of a documentary. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
My main feeling after seeing this movie, which covers the first few
days of the second world war in Norway, is that I would like to see the
movie continue all the way through the war.
While the performances are all great, and the locations used, the costumes, the recreations of Oslo and the soundtrack all contributed into making this an excellent movie - the highlight was how this story was told and the movie cut together. If you don't like inter titles, you won't like this movie. Every scene is introduced with location, date and time. And it works. I didn't always pay much attention to it, but the moments it chooses all feel like real moments in the story, the important highlights of actions performed by the people involved.
I do appreciate that they also spread their focus a bit wider than just the royal family. The German diplomat was an interesting character, trying his best to get a handle on a terrible situation, and doing a good (though futile) job. The young men on the front line are portrayed in a way that really shows the horrors of war on an ultimately inexperienced crowd. But the main story here is that of the royal family, who is made to seem more human than any other depiction I have seen of them, including most documentaries. They are not people born into a stoic calm, but rather people born into a job that at its worst can be really difficult and pressing.
The critique of this movie is mostly about what it is not: a new perspective. Again, you follow the heroes of the war, the people we shouldn't forget (and haven't forgotten). While I completely agree with the people wanting something new, this has little to do with this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kongens Nei is a great personal drama revolving around King Håkon VII,
set to a historic backdrop of the opening days of the German invasion
of Denmark and Norway. We also follow the German representative in
Norway at the outbreak of the war - Curt Braüer - and his futile
attempts of getting a negotiated peace. Both men have to adapt fast to
a military reality neither was very well prepared for.
The movie does have some good war scenes - most notably Colonel Eriksen firering the heavy guns at Oscarsborg coastal fortress at the German heavy cruiser Blücher - but it is not an action movie. Most other war scenes are about fleeing by train and car and confused small scale battle in cold, snow and wood. Pretty accurate of what the war was like in Norway, where all parts had to cope with the weather and nature as much as with enemy soldiers.
It starts out really well and exciting with prelude to the German fleet
invasion of oslo, and how the small fortress in the middle of the
fjord,is preparing to open fire on the unknown invaders.(they didn't
know it was the Germans.They only knew that they came in dark with no
light and possibly hostile intention.) The sad part is they have only
focused on the battle cruiser Blucher while in reality there were at
least 14 ships all in all.But hey focus solemnly on the one that they
managed to sink. Even in the bigger picture they should've taken the
time to make up the rest of the fleet on cgi
From there on out the real story about the kings escape start. I like that they show how fumbling and spineless, the Left-wing government was.Since that is something they worked very hard to cover up in the aftermath of 1945. The king, is mostly portrayed as a spineless half senile indecisive king,who's fond of children.And With blind faith in the sitting left-wing government,and their ability to negotiate with the Germans
While he son has more back bone and has realized, that the government has failed and can't really negotiate anything,simply because the Germans has no need for them.
The biggest problem I have with the movie, is that there is so much stuff that should've ended on the cutting room floor. There are several scenes of the King playing with his children. I am sure he was an excellent grandpa, but we don't need to know it.And it also break the tension that they have built up.
They also fail to communicate how much chaoes and panich it was,and why it was so important for the king to escape.They have been more occupied with showing the escape, than explaining the reason behind it.
he norwegians also need to learn proper camera work. In the only scene where there are fighting between the Germans and Norwegians they manage to put a three right in the middle of the picture. Also they focus on the wrong people. In the same skirmish they have a lot of focus on a wet behind the ears boy,who don't really have any significance to the story.A side from being involved in the fights.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw 'The King's decision' tonight, the film that apparently got a 6-rating in all local media. (where 6 is the highest score possible) My question is this; how much lsd or free alcohol did the critics consume prior to the screening? Story-wise, you can not give much credit, as it's a historic event. So then you need to look at other factors relating to the overall experience Starring: thank goodness that neither Ane Dahl Torp or Kristoffer Joner were starred in this film.but this still could not save the film from a boring and predictable script. no matter how hard they try, it's just not convincing enough.sorry! Effects and CGI: Oh God, this made this movie difficult to watch. Things like buildings, airplanes, "bullets" .... everything was blurry and looked like it was produced in the 80's. Explosions that should have destroyed buildings and taken out gas stations were masked by excessive use of all-too-gray-cgi-smoke, and then cut to the next scene, nice ... and atop of that, there was an unbelievable amount of bullets fired in the movie but still no bullet casings, no bullet holes. nothing was done to get this to look authentic, with the possible exception of maybe one minute on-screen-action at the end of the movie. (I probably won't even have to mention the scene they stole from saving private Ryan?) With a budget like this and such an important story to tell, I think it's ridiculous that they did not take the CGI and effects seriously. The trailer was good, but unfortunately everything you see in the trailer corresponds to maybe 2 or 3 minutes of the actual film. So after taking all this into account, my final rating for this film is 2/10 Now i'm off to watch 'sausage party' while resisting the urge to drink bleach.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Judging by the hype and praise this movie had received I was really looking forward to this release. The trailer was amazing and as a fan of war movies this seemed like something which would stand out from a pale series of attempts the last two years in the WW2 movie genre. However it was nothing short of a disappointment! The movie starts off with some excitement in the air. You are anxiously awaiting the invasion which is why you can handle the King playing around with his kids and pretending he knows nothing of anything whatsoever. Then the movie shift focus to dialogues about how ill prepared Norway really is for a possible invasion. This is when the movie tries to reel you into the 1940's era. This never happens. The German fleet (I count one ship) enters the fjords of Norway and a small fortress with approximately 7 Norwegian soldiers facing some action are all the invasion battle you will see. These scenes feature horribly made CGI (probably created on a boozy evening on a low resolution screen in the mid 90's). After the disappointing ''battle'' the Germans have control over Norway and this is where the movie becomes a clichéd joke. Somehow the director thought it was OK to make every German shout like Hitler (in almost every scene). There is even a scene where a German threatens a little boy with a gun while ferociously sneering like an SS office (see Schindler's list). The fact that the boy has life threatening injuries makes no difference to the Germans (historical accuracy under scrutiny). I'm not saying it did not happen but in the early stages of the war an army sergeant of the Wehrmacht is not likely to act like an SS officer. Jumping to the King is on the run, still acting like a confused old man not really sure of what to do. The plain boring scenes of the King in different small towns in Norway combined with the already non plausible acting of Germans and Norwegians alike, makes it look like a small town poorly constructed costume drama, combined with the occasional drop of terribly made CGI bombs from overhead ''blurry'' planes (maybe you can tell it is a German plan due to the shape?). Just to make it even more cliché they copied a scene from ''Saving Private Ryan'' where a grenade goes off and you get the continuously beep ear noise. If you were to go out and don't want to miss out on the ''action'' don't worry, the movie has the same music playing in ALL ''action'' scenes throughout. If you hear it once you know what I am talking about. The director probably got his inspiration from the movie Battleship where the same music appear when the creatures ascend from the ocean. The King's inevitable escape from Norway (something I had anxiously awaited to see) is not shown. Instead the movie cut to credits. Why would they leave out this part? After all he is surrounded on all flanks and the escape could have been an interesting watch. After the movie you will probably wonder where the King's ''NO'' actually came from.
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