June, 1941: Trapped between two repressive regimes, Finland has little choice but to ally itself with Nazi Germany against its traditional foe - although it manages to remain a democracy throughout. Virtually unknown in the WW ll arena, a brutal war against Soviet occupation takes place in the Far North. As the men of a Finnish infantry unit march through the forests of Karelia to regain territory lost to Russia in the Winter War of 1939, each of them soon realizes the horror and pointlessness of war. Except for their officers, more concerned about medals and personal glory than the lives of their men. A diverse group of men, all at odds with how they see themselves, each other, and the common cause - yet they are strengthened by a growing bond of camaraderie to each other and their loved ones. After huge personal sacrifice and a prolonged trench war, the outcome is inevitable, ending with a ceasefire in September 1944.Written by
Beta Film GmbH
In reality, Finland was a reluctant ally to Germany. They shared the common enemy of Russia, but economically, could not afford a war. Germany provided uniforms and weapons to Finland, hence the German appearing uniforms worn by the Finnish soldiers. See more »
After the wedding everyone walks out from the church.
One woman in brown coat seems to have a foot injury, but the blue support around the foot looks very modern. See more »
TV movie version (235 minutes) includes some of the additional material that was originally shown in the miniseries version. See more »
Matka Alkaa/Journey Begins
Written by Lasse Enersen See more »
First of all I watched the lengthened 5 part TV- series version of it and enjoyed it very much especially towards the end. So that in mind I am not reviewing the cinematic version here. I really think watching it this way really benefits the movie and I continue referencing it as "movie".
This movie is really hard to review since it's the same story I've read few times in a book and seen the 1955 movie version almost every year since the early 2000's at least and I think it's a perfect classic. So all the performances I can't help but compare them with "originals". That fact really blinds my eye to some degree and I think in my head "oh he said it wrong and it wasn't as funny or convincing". And yes, in some instances the performances aren't as convincing and it feels like actors are just reading the script. But mostly those are the case of minor roles and all of these problems really are in the first part of this movie. The 1955 classic has some of the best and funniest dialogue of any film I know! The start of that movie is so strong it's impossible to top. It's like trying to remake the start of "Full metal Jacket". There is no way any actor could top the performances you see in that film either.
I think they should've given the start a little more drama or tension since they can't compare with the funny side of things. Or just build up the characters more. After the start which in my opinion is little too short the movie starts to show it's strengths. The action scenes are really awesome. Perhaps they aren't as big and epic as in some huge war movies but this is told in a perspective of a platoon mostly. Scenes are intense, realistic and just brilliantly filmed! They are perhaps not huge but instead they are really detailed if that can be said. For example you see soldiers reloading their weapons and preparing their grenades and just doing all the little things you rarely see in a war film. I think the actors were really well trained (most likely and firstly in Finnish military if they served their duty) to do these actions.
One last thing is the weaponry and armament used in this movie. In my knowledge there is EVERYTHING correct about the weapons in this movie. The biggest things at least. I haven't compared the common rifle if it is 100% correct but that doesn't matter to me. To me matters the other small arms types and most importantly armor or tanks as some calls them. They are correct type and they ARE actual working vehicles which really shows. And I think this is one of the best usage of tanks in any movie because it is realistic and very intense. The movie "Fury" is million times worse than this.
My conclusion is that it's great movie with great acting, action and drama. Everything that is "new" in this movie compared to the classic is great. And things directly compared are good as well. Especially after the start it really is great.
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