Max Manus (English title Man of War) is a Norwegian 2008 biographic war film based on the real events of the life of resistance fighter Max Manus (1914–96). The story follows Manus (played by Aksel Hennie) from the Winter War against the Soviet Union, through the outbreak of World War II and the German occupation of Norway until peacetime in 1945. Its budget is estimated to be NOK 55,000,000, making it the most expensive of all purely Norwegian film productions before 2009. The production included around 1,800 extras, and 2,000 workers behind the cameras.
The film is based on Max Manus’s own books ‘Det vil helst gå godt’ and ‘Det blir alvor‘, as well as other accounts and historical documentation. The film stays largely historically accurate, but omits some events, and moves some of the supporting characters around to show them taking part in events in place of others.
The film’s première was attended by King Harald V, ‘Tikken’ Manus, Gunnar Sønsteby along with other notable individuals. Reception from critics was largely positive, though some found the film to be too traditional, and compared it unfavourably to the recent Danish film Flame & Citron. Max Manus also sparked a public debate about the role of the Norwegian resistance movement during the German occupation.
Watch the trailer here:
Text by: Thor Bugge Lanesskog, ThorNews