Narvik review: Prosaic war drama mostly flails about

Narvik follows a married couple contending with the ongoing WWII battle of the Narvik in their own different ways, as Norway’s neutrality is breached.

Story

Norway’s neutrality is breached as the Germans and the British wage a battle for iron ore, which is shipped from Sweden by train, and Narvik serves as a major harbor for its transportation.

The German forces take over the city as Norwegian troops plan an attack while the British Navy is on its way to lend support.

Corporal Gunnar does an exceptional job and plays a crucial role in blowing up the Nordal Bridge, thereby rendering the iron ore transport obsolete. However, he’s caught by the Germans.

Meanwhile, his wife Ingrid works at the Royal Hotel which is taken over by the enemy and the German consul enlists her service as a translator. That’s not all, she has to also offer the British consul refuge up in the mountains.

While her husband contends with extremities at the battleground, she has to contend with working as a double agent, extracting information from the Germans and relaying it to the British.

The German Navy arrives, as well as the French and Polish forces. The bombing by the Navy also hits Ingrid’s home and her father-in-law dies as a result of it, while her son gets injured.

When Ole’s injury turns into a life-threatening infection, Ingrid compromises the British consul’s location so her son can be given treatment by the doctor strictly reserved for the injured German soldiers.

Norwegians successfully recapture Narvik and the soldiers eventually return to town. Gunnar returns home and confronts his wife about her rumored assistance to the Germans.

As Ingrid leaves town with Ole, Gunnar thinks about how he holds her and his son dear and rushes off to his family, evacuating out of the city to safety.

Meanwhile, Germany sets loose their bombers on Narvik, which is leveled to the ground after the civilians escape and eventually the Norwegian army has to lay down the arms when the allied forces retreat without informing them of the same.

Performances

Carl Martin is great as a fearless soldier and his expressions and physical performance during the battle is one that deserves all the praise.

However, it’s Kristine Hartgen who knocks it off the park with her understated performance, playing a mother and a wife, as well as a professional who has to play an incredibly perilous role as a double agent and save her son, while also being questioned for her loyalty by her husband and others.

Positives

Narvik is competently shot and technically speaking, there is little that disappoints. The acting elevates the drama, which the film sadly isn’t abundant in.

Negatives

A certain unremarkable flair detracts from the experience. A war film shouldn’t feel like a dud, as it’s nothing but a disservice to all the suffering that transpired.

It’s also the reason why a film on war or turbulent times surrounding a war must always be undertaken as a lifetime project that leaves the minds etched with all the scars of shameful realities regarding the subject matter.

Verdict

Narvik is technically good that also succeeds, with a lesser degree of success, in portraying the conflict and drama that the central character contend with. However, it’s the same ‘not-bad’ quality that prevents it from reaching its potential.

A deficit of memorable scenes or sequences subtracts a lot of energy from the story and the drama that unfolds following many pivotal developments.

Narvik
Narvik review: Prosaic war drama mostly flails about 1

Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg

Date Created: 2023-01-23 13:30

Editor's Rating:
2.5

Also Read: Narvik ending explained: Do Gunnar and Ingrid end up together?