Into the Darkness is a World War II movie that looks at things from the point of view of Denmark. The Scandinavian country was an interesting mix of some Danes that were so pro-Nazi they actually fought on the Russian front. Others risked their lives to help hide Jewish people. It is a wide ranging divide that director Anders Refn examines closely by focusing on one family.
Karl Skov supports his family through his factor in Copenhagen. Though his wife and son do not believe in Germany’s agenda, Karl feels it is better to produce goods for the enemy than to plunge his family into bankruptcy. Meanwhile, his daughter has fallen in love with a German soldier.
Into the Darkness covers a lot of ground in its sometimes overly melodramatic story. This leads to a film that feels every bit of its two and a half hour runtime. Many times, it gives the feeling that it would have been better suited for television. The one difference is the shockingly sudden ending. (In all fairness, this is intended to be just the first part of a trilogy.)
Things move at a methodical pace for the majority of the film. This allows for characters and their impact on the story to be fully developed. Each one is important to the overall story and strengthens the overall theme regarding the complications of war. This will ultimately determine how much a person enjoys Into the Darkness. War dramas that do not go all in on action have to depend on the characters. There are plenty here and all of them have interesting backstories.
The performances are also top-notch. It may have been better on TV, but it would have to be prestige television. Into the Darkness takes in much emotional territory and the cast is up to it. Anger, disappointment, and lust are all on display during the WWII epic. Into the Darkness has a tendency to fall into the war soap opera trap. This does not make it a bad film, but it will also not appeal to everyone. For those who are willing to sit through this deep tale, there is plenty to enjoy.
Into the Darkness comes to VOD May 21
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