In the summer and autumn of 1940 England was an island under siege. Germany sent its mighty air force, the Luftwaffe, into England to attack military and civilian targets. The attacks lead to massive air battles as the German bombers were met by English fighter planes. It was all out war over the heads of the English country side, the channel and some parts of Europe. This battle would later be called The Battle of Britain.
On April 27th, 1940, a German Heinkel HE 111 was shot down near the Norwegian town of Grotli. The British Blackburn Skau, hit by the Heinkel, would also later crash. The men aboard the planes would have no idea that their aerial battle would become one of survival in the harsh Norwegian mountain.
The movie Into the White takes the viewer into the real events that unfolded after both their planes went down. The story starts within the German crew as you see their plane crash and how the crew must find a way to survive. This includes surviving the first night in a snow cave they must build.
It is after they lose their supplies in an accident that the Germans come across an abandoned cabin. They go inside and start doing what they must to get warm and take stock of what provisions they find inside. It is not long after they hear some shouting and this means, here come the British.
The film does a good job of showing how these two enemies must come to grips living together in this cabin. There are questions on why the Germans feel they must rule the world, with a great counter by a German officer. The German’s counter is pointing out the many British colonies at the time and some of their history.
The film has elements of humor mixed into the tension that will eventually overcome men trapped in a situation that they find themselves in. A good example is how when they start realizing they are low on firewood they go as far as taking the walls from their “outhouse”.
What Into the White does very well is it shows the human side of the two crews. You get to see what the men are like and how they are eventually able to put aside their animosity to each other to survive. As they get to know each other more they share more of their personal lives and you find it hard not to like either crew.
The movie’s cast is made up of actors that American viewers may not fully recognize. The one main difference is a red haired actor that some may go, “its RON!” when they see him on the screen. The actor I’m referring to is none other than Rupert Grint who many will know as Ron Weasely from the Harry Potter movies.
In the rest of the cast you will find David Kross, Florian Lukas, Lachlan Nieboer and Stig Henrik Hoff. Some may recognize Hoff from his role from The Thing (2011). I should mention that Downtown Abbey and Torchwood the actor Lachlan Nieboer maybe familiar as well as he did act in at least two episodes in each show.
The great thing about Into the White is that you do not need to be a fan of World War 2 movies to enjoy this film. Although the movie takes place during this time in the world the story can be called universal. It shows what people will do to overcome what appears to be a hopeless situation. The film also shows how brothers in arms can apply to those who wear the same uniform but the same experience. The other great thing in the film is the fact it was shot in Norway so the setting is real and although potentially deadly it is beautiful.
The one thing I will add is that this is a movie and thus some of the events were changed. This is a fact that many “based on real event” films will do to help get an audience. The story stays close to the actual events and does not take to many major liberties. The one thing I found interesting after researching the true story is how the German soldiers involved had their names used in the film, but the British names where changed. I’m not sure what that is but it does not matter in the film. What matters is that by the end of the film you should find you just watched a great movie.