Thursday, 15 April 2010

Winter In Wartime: Movie Review

Winter In Wartime: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10

Martijn Lakemeier, Yorick van Wageningen, Jamie Campbell Bower

Director: Martin Koolhoven

Set in the last winter of World War II, Nazi occupied Holland is under siege - both from the Germans and a blanket of snow.

15 year old Michiel (Lakemeier) is one of those who is appalled by the Nazis and wants to join the Resistance in some form of other. Despite being inspired by his Uncle Ben and warned off by his father who's the mayor of the town, Michiel ends up helping a crashed pilot (Campbell Bower). It's this act of defiance which sets in motion a series of events which will end Michiel's teenage years in ways he could never imagine as he finds his innocence shattered forever.

Winter In Wartime was the official Dutch entry into the Academy Awards this year - and it's beautifully shot and captures the atmosphere of the time excellently, The story's well told and is captivating from beginning to end - there's an ease to the central performance from Lakemeier which makes it easy to watch. He captures the petulance of the teenage years, the conflict with his mayor father who wants to protect him from the troubles and the desire to grow up and be treated like a man very well.

Campbell Bower (Twilight: New Moon star) interacts well with Lakemeier and the pair invest a fair amount of emotion into their friendship. While all of the cast's performances are solid, the film does follow a slightly predictable path - when Michiel finally bonds with his father, the war comes crashing into their world. It's a little predictable - as is the twist towards the end which if you're savvy can be seen coming a mile off.

However, that doesn't lessen the impact of the film - while there appears to be a glut of war films on the slate this year (Max Manus, Home By Christmas to name but two) each of them deserve your time in the cinema.

Winter In Wartime succeeds as a tale of lost innocence and thanks to the universal story, you may find yourself dragged more into this world than you would expect.

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