“… uses the backdrop of WWII to tell a beautiful story about enemies putting aside their differences to survive together.”
War is a popular topic for films to tackle; most likely because people are interested in it. Anyone who has taken a history class has heard of the great battles that have taken place over the years, but most of those people want more. They want to come as close to living that experience without actually living it. That is where movies come in. Of course, there are very few movies about war that try to convey the message that war is great because that would be going against the general consensus. Instead movies are made that highlight the fact that people in these great battles are exactly that, people. Into the White does this very well by telling the story of three WWII German pilots that get shot down over Norway. The group has to work together to survive the desolate, freezing landscape but things get complicated when they come across two British pilots who were also shot down. What ensues is an internal battle for all parties deciding wether to fulfil their orders and kill their enemies, or work together with their “enemies” because they are all people that need to survive.
Into the White is a smaller movie, only featuring 5 actors for the majority of the film, but it’s message is huge. Throughout the film we get to see men stripped down past the patches that they adorn on their chests, past the orders that they were given, and learn that the people they are fighting aren’t inherently evil, they are just people. I wasn’t familiar with any of the actors going into the movie (except for Rupert Grint) but I found myself astounded at their abilities. I couldn’t pinpoint one bad performance in Into the White; everyone involved did an amazing job. To see this group of men meet and hate each other, even going so far as to threaten each other with weapons, to a group of men that are working together to survive and even becoming friends involves a lot of subtlety from the actors. As the movie progresses you can see the characters slowly start to realize that the men they are sharing the cabin with aren’t so bad after all; starting with the two men who are in charge, and then trickling down to their subordinates. Of course I can look back at the movie and say that this theme was prevalent throughout the film, but I would be lying. While watching the movie I found myself to be frustrated that it took the characters so long to realize the position that they were in. Maybe it was an example of dramatic irony in my case (having read the synopsis earlier), but it was truly frustrating to see these men intentionally annoy one another just to prove a fraction of superiority even though they were in no position to be doing so (stranded in the middle of nowhere). It wasn’t just the story and performances that were well done, but also the camerawork. There was one point in the beginning of the film where the camerawork was shaky to say the least; causing me to be very disoriented and lose what was going on in the movie. Past that I found that the simplicity of the shots were beautiful. There were many shots that stood out to me as being amazing, but other shots were simple enough to not outshine what was being shown on the screen. I enjoyed the amount of creativity that was accomplished with how small the setting of the film was, but I also enjoyed the fact that the creativity didn’t try to make itself the centrepiece of the film and it took a back seat when necessary. The movie then culminates into a terribly heart wrenching ending which wraps up the story beautifully (even though it isn’t the happy ending that I had wanted). And I can’t end this review without saying that Into the White is the only movie (that I can think of) that has made me sympathize with not one, but multiple Nazis; and that’s a feat that can’t go unnoticed.
Ultimately Into the White is a film that uses the backdrop of WWII to tell a beautiful story about enemies putting aside their differences to survive together. With performances that will pull you into the film and a story that will warm, and then break, your heart, I definitely recommend Into the White
I give Into the White a B