19 January 2016 | bertverwoerd
Danish cinema delivers once again
Over the last decade, we've come to expect a lot from the Danes when it comes to making movies. This film, too, shows a lot of promise: its writer and director Tobias Lindholm also wrote the scripts for the fantastic Kapringen and the utterly haunting Jagten. Its lead actor Pilou Asbæk shined in R, Kapringen and Borgen. Does this talent show again in Krigen? Yes, it does.
It certainly does. The film excellently portrays the atrocities of warfare in Afghanistan through the eyes of company commander Pedersen (Asbæk), who is confronted with questions and decisions only soldiers have to deal with. Issues of survival, of morality, of death and life come to the fore in a film that shows nothing in war is black and white.
Why decide so-and-so? Why did such-and-such happen in this or that way? Could it have been altered? Could lives have been saved? Did I do the job I signed up for, or more, or less? The ways in which such issues haunt soldiers, their commanders, their families and even the Afghan locals, form the basis of this important film.
Lindholm refrains from falling into the pitfalls of making a typical gung-ho war film, or copying any of the thousands of battlefield depictions already produced. He produced a motion picture that will certainly stand the test of time because it is as much about the human condition on the battle- and home fronts, as it is about the fighting itself.
The cinematography is great, the sound is very decent and the plot ultimately leaves you with the same ambiguous feeling that many of the soldiers depicted will undoubtedly have. Krigen is a solid film that does not blemish the Danish film industry's good reputation, and is certainly a serious contender for this year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture.