The Soviet army breaks through the Finnish defences on the Karelian Isthmus in June 1944, advancing with overwhelming force. Somehow, the Finnish troops must find the strength to fight back...
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This film is the second silver screen adaption of the Finnish war book by Väinö Linna with the same name as the film. The story is based on Linna's experiences as an infantry man in the ... See full summary »
It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the ... See full summary »
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The Soviet army breaks through the Finnish defences on the Karelian Isthmus in June 1944, advancing with overwhelming force. Somehow, the Finnish troops must find the strength to fight back, with all odds against them. The Battle of Tali-Ihantala was the largest battle ever fought in the history of the Nordic countries. This film depicts the true events through five separate stories.Written by
Very boring as a movie, and uninformative as a documentary
Being Finnish, it is often difficult to comment on Finnish war movies. Since most Finns have at least an elementary grasp of the timeline and locations of the events, you can understand better what is happening in front of you. This creates a situation where these movies become difficult to follow for other audiences and that's where they usually go wrong.
Let's look at the good sides first. The fact that they actually acquired proper vehicles instead of using CGI was a huge upside. The costumes, the equipment looked pretty good. The inside shots of the vehicles were good. However, all of these upsides were not enough to cover up for the confusing direction and weak screenplay. Yes, I said it, the cat is out of the bag.
The premise is good, and if the director had chosen to go the route of "A Bridge too Far" or "The Longest Day", this movie would have been much better. The greatest flaws were the lack of character development, sense of urgency from the fighting and overall confusion of what was actually happening. These were so bad that you don't even notice the horrible dialogue.
Both of the Hollywood movies I mentioned spent the first hour with character development, and the remainder showing those characters whom you had now developed a connection to, in situations where you as the viewer felt that they were in immediate danger. In T-I, there were no scenes that had the same feeling like Robert Redford paddling across the Nijmegen or the "cricket" scene from TLD.
When shooting a large scale epic like this, the HQ scenes must act as the glue that holds all of the action together and keeps the viewer in the loop for whats actually happening. Instead of the overview maps, I would have preferred to see a mapboard and commanders discussing the situation. Now you just see almost identical maps and it seems like the Russians are not doing anything, and the Finns are mounting some kind of counterattacks somewhere for no particular reason. You can see that around 90 minutes (the radio intelligence scene) they did attempt this for a few minutes, which ended up being the most enjoyable part of the movie. Too bad that the action that unfolded ended up being so anticlimactic.
I really wanted to like this movie, but I felt very disappointed with it in the end. Also, the English subtitles had some annoying missteps evident in too many Finnish DVD productions; incorrect terminology and desperate attempt to make Finns speak UK English, whereas Finns in my experience speak more like Americans with their colorful expressions.
Recommended only for hard core WW2 vehicle buffs. I suggest "Ambush" if you're looking for an actually entertaining movie about this subject.
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