Max Manus, a remarkable individual simply because as the Gestapo Agent after him said at the end of the war, “There are simply some people who refuse to be caught.”
The story of Max was too large for a movie, and Norway had few war heroes: taken without resistance, known as ‘Fortress Norway’ with 300,000 German and SS troops. When Finland was invaded by the Russians, many were against it, a few went to far as to enlist as volunteer troops, fighting a winter war against the worlds most efficient and effective army. One day, the Norwegian volunteers were lined up and informed that their country had been taken over, without a fight.
Max, without a chain of command, without orders, refused to accept that and returned with a group, and took over a Fortress from the Germans. They chose a leader, and for two months there WAS war in Norway against the Germans.
The film could not cover this, nor all of his operations as a saboteur, since as he says in the documentary, it was 10 operations to every one that succeeded, but his successes were huge. One significant operation likely saved the lives of 70,000 young men of Norway. He became obsessed with a single giant transport and armed ship, the one which had taken the Jews away from Norway. One attempt took two years, in building a human guided torpedo. He was found crying in the wetsuit over the failure of the torpedo.
This film, based on his two books written in 1945-6, has a 45 documentary with the filmmakers but more importantly with Max and all of his friends, those who survived. As they said, Max took every loss personally, it weighed on him. Towards the end, he became fatalistic, depressed. He was human, his hands shook by the end, but he kept on.
I ordered this DVD new, and watched it, then kept it 'As NEW' as I do. It is region 2 so if anyone who can play region 2 would like to trade a DVD or manga, or just would like to watch it, I would rather it go to a good home than sell it. I want it to be seen again. I guess I can identify with someone who, with no high structure, no command, just daily struggle to survive, alone in an occupied country, and strike back. I just wish I had the strike back part, but I can live vicariously. Watch the trailer and let me know in email or comments. I recommend this film highly.
2 hours ago