Last Christmas the Norwegian film “Max Manus” premiered in cinemas across the country. The film is based on the true story of World War 2 resistance fighter and saboteur Max Manus (1914-1996). It received top ratings and was by many considered one of the greatest Norwegian films ever made. Even though the directors took some ‘artistic liberties’, the film was also acclaimed for its authenticity.
The DVD release of “Max Manus” came out in stores a few weeks ago, and an international release is being shipped these days. One thing I have found interesting is how the film has been profiled for an English-speaking audience. The film largely focuses on Manus as a person, battling his demons, alcoholism, nightmares and the guilt of putting his friends and countrymen in danger. In the international release, the trailers and movie posters seem to focus less on the biography and more on the action sequences. If you take a look at the different DVD covers you may catch my drift:
The title has even been changed to “Man of War”. I guess the film ads had to get a little “hollywood-ised” for the English-speaking audience, firstly to make up for the language barrier, and secondly because Max Manus was not such a famous person outside Norway. Still, it feels a bit like turning “Schindler’s List” into “Rambo”.