An Engrossing Account Of A World War II Event That Many Aren't Aware Of
An emotionally engrossing factual account that's brought to life with assured confidence & terrific restraint, The King's Choice (also known as Kongens nei) is an end product of extensive research, competent craftsmanship & skillful narration that brings yet another fascinating World War II event to cinematic life that many aren't aware of.
The story of The King's Choice takes place in Norway during the Second World War and follows the Norwegian King who's forced to make a difficult choice after his nation is invaded by Nazi Germany despite his country's neutral position in the war and has to decide whether to continue fighting the Germans or surrender, a decision that will shape Norway's future.
Directed by Eric Poppe, the film opens with a montage that provides a brief overview of Norway's elected monarch and his role in governing the nation, following which it jumps to 1940 and moves ahead from there. Poppe's direction is brilliant for the most part, as he is able to keep the interest alive and delivers some thrilling moments of chaos & destruction that war brings with itself.
There are only a couple or more battle sequences but all of it is thoroughly riveting & expertly shot. The drama is compelling, the tension is palpable, and its characters are interesting to some extent but there are still a few moments when it indulges in trivial matters which take the focus away from what's relevant. Its 133 minutes narrative is steadily paced but it begins to lose steam after a while.
My favourite aspect, however, is the background score, for it is able to elevate & enrich the impact of many segments with its ingeniously composed & emotionally evocative tracks that are always in sync with the unfolding events. Camera-work is equally well-balanced, and the cast delivers strong performances throughout by playing their given roles with aptness & leave nothing to complain about.
On an overall scale, The King's Choice has its shares of positives & negatives but it manages to be a gripping experience for the most part. It doesn't hold back anything when it comes to capturing the visceral nature of war and is fabulously supported by a rousing score in those moments but it also lacks the same level of intensity in the dramatic portions at times and fails to hit as hard as it was capable of. Still, definitely worth a shot.
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