Group Stages – Round 1: Winter in Wartime (NED) vs Battle Royale (JPN)
by Nicholas Robinson
The first half: Near the end of World War II, 14-year-old Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) becomes involved with the Resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier (Jaime Campbell Bower). With the conflict coming to an end, Michiel comes of age and learns of the stark difference between adventure fantasy and the ugly realities of war. – IMDB.com
I had absolutely no idea what this movie was about when I chose to watch it other than the fact that it occurred in WWII so I had no idea what to expect. I got a really good movie. The story was really good; there was some good acting, amazing music and some very good camerawork.
The story in this movie was really good. There was not only some good character development and good dialogue, but some twists and turns that you never saw coming. The story keeps the suspense up as Michiel tries to get the British soldier, Jack across the river and to a city called Zwolle. The only real problem I had with the story, is that the relationship between Michiel and Theo (Jesse van Driel) was not explored nearly enough for the viewers to think they are best friends. You see it at the beginning and at the end, but for the middle hour and fifteen minutes, you don’t even see Theo on screen.
The acting in this movie is good all around, but as usual there are a couple of special mentions. Melody Klaver (Erica) was bad. Her acting was very bland throughout the entire movie. Even when Michiel caught her in bed with Jack, you didn’t see any hint of emotion on her face, not even surprise. On the other hand, Yorick van Wageningen (Uncle Ben) was very good. He played his part beautifully. He switches from the fun uncle to the serious resistance fighter seamlessly and deserves recognition for his role.
The music in this movie was fantastic. The score fit each scene like a glove. Every song in the score portrayed what was happening in the film so well, I think that if I closed my eyes and just listened to the score, I could pinpoint where in the movie it was. Also, the camerawork in this movie was good. There were some very interesting shots, like the one at the end in the forest, but there were also some average and clichéd shots.
Overall, it is a very good war movie with a great story and is definitely a rental.
IMDB says 7.2/10
RT says 60%
I say 8.5/10
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