The King's Choice Reviews
It is from the director of 'A Thousand Times Good Night'. This movie is like the Norwegian version of the Academy Awards winner 'The King's Speech'. Likewise, it was based on the real, that happened around the same timeline of the history, id est, the World War II. Except matching title, it was totally a different narrative. When the Germany was expecting a response to their demand, the Norway cabinet made most of the decisions and turned it down to remain independent country. But from all, a decision that made by the king is what this film was based on and how it changed the Norway's fate was depicted.
This film was sent to the 2017 Oscars, unfortunately it did not advance to the main event. They might have expected recognition similar to the British film. But I think both the films were good in their own way with the kind of story they told us that took place in the backdrop of the most terrible time of the recent human history. So having a similar title name justifies. It is a biopic, but the story was covered from different angles to reveal us what happened on the other side, including one of the young soldiers who fought in that war.
The story begins with the April 1940, while the Nazi army sailing towards Norway and after losing most of the cities to them, the people fled to safer places. That did not spare the Norwegian cabinet members, as well as the king Haakon VII and his family. In those hard times, he kept the nation united by respecting to how the government decided to deal with the situation.
But on one occasion, through a German diplomat with a one-time offer directly from Adolf Hitler leave the king to make the crucial decision for his nation and its people. That's the part of the film to define its title. So everything leads to that moment, how he reacts and what follows decides the Norway's fate to stand on what side of the ongoing war.
"If I am the last card in the deck, so be it."
It's a well made film. Neither too violent nor avoided the war depictions to turn it more drama type. Everything had its share, including those war atmosphere for such budget was impressive. More like it was a running and chasing theme. But in the initial parts, there were too many timelines mentioned about what happened on when. Details like that are really good, though I felt it was too much to take on, especially for a foreign film.
Once the tale enters the mid section, looked all were in order and also got very interesting than before. In a cold country like Norway, in those situations you are like in a multifold trouble. I mean from the common man's perspective. An army is chasing you and harsh winter, surviving that is very challenging.
All the actors were great, but the king steals the show. If this was an American film that had taken place in America, then he would have won the Oscars. The fresh undertaking films on the World War II themes would never go fade away. So this is one of the best in that kind in the recent time. Except the opening, I did not have any trouble following it. Even the 130 minutes looked shortened. But I won't think everybody would feel the same way as I did. Like any WWII films, it is a must see, particularly to learn from the Norway's perspective of the war.
But this was depicted from the early stage of the war. And since it was majorly focused from the king's perspective, being a first king elected by his people, how he had faced it, following his crucial decision leads the way to the film's conclusion. If you are as war film fan, particularly the WWII, the actual best part begins henceforth which I'm hoping for a sequel to focus on. If you are not anticipating like the top WWII films you have seen, it can be picked for a watch. But anyway, I would recommend it.
While the story is strong, the message is also something to be very proud of. The idea of surrenderism or giving away our strong togetherness was (and is) not OK. Especially if decided by one man, not a democracy. Poppe has done very solid films - I think I have seen them all. This is a film "everyone" has wanted and now the time was right. Not focusing on action, but on actions. It's well acted, and even of there are two frequently used actors here, Baasmo Christiansen and Novotny, the rest of the cast is quite fresh. The classic problem with Norwegian cinema is therefore eliminated.
Well told, well produced. Great music and lovely shots. I like the idea that it's rated nine years or older so yhe younger audiences can watch it too - this is important piece of history. Sure, things has probably been added, but I've seen far, far worse add-ons to please viewers. This stay nearly clear of it. Well, "The Wilhelm Scream" is here though - not the best choice or work from the sound guys.
A big, important film that probably will stand as one of the biggest Norwegian films for ages. Maybe is the nationalistic in me talking, but this was a great film - way better than expected. Not worthy an Oscar, but per now it's among the last nine participants for the Foreign movie category.
8.5 out of 10 kings.
But sadly enough also a film that has it's relevance in 2017 when the world situation again is very threatening and many will be faced with difficult choices and their consequences.
And ...not to forget a splendid film which should be able to gather interest not only in Scandinavia but also abroad.
Exciting, true to history and a great period film making every thing sum up for this Oscar contender by Erik Poppe.