(director/writer: Paul Greengrass; screenwriter: based on “One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway” (2013) by journalist Asne Seierstad; cinematographer: Pål Ulvik Rokseth; editor: William Goldenberg; music: Sune Martin; cast: Anders Danielsen Lie (Anders Behring Breivik), Ola G. Furuseth (Jens Stoltenberg), Jonas Strand Gravli (Viljar Hanssen), Jon Øigarden (Geir Lippestad), Maria Bock (Christin Kristoffersen), Thorbjørn Harr (Sveinn Are Hanssen), Seda Witt (Lara Rachid), Isak Bakli Aglen (Torje Hanssen), Hilde Olausson (Breivik’s Mother), Lena Kristin Ellingsen (Signe Lippestad); Runtime: 143; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Scott Rudin, Paul Greengrass, Gregory Goodman, Eli Bush; Netflix; 2018-U.S.-Norway-Iceland-in English)
“A hard-hitting docudrama about the July 22, 2011 mass shooting in Norway.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A hard-hitting docudrama about the July 22, 2011 mass shooting in Norway, but it offers no new takes on the massacre and spends too much time with the hateful killer. It was the worst terrorist attack in Norway, in which a right-wing extremist, Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen), murders 77 teens at a youth camp. It’s directed by Brit filmmaker Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips”/”United 93″) as a re-enactment, who gets to the twisted killer’s irrational anger and creates the ambiance in which the shooting took place, but never gets to anything deeper about this tragedy than covering again the headlines it created when it happened and making the viewer again an eyewitness to history. It’s a tough watch. The hate-mongering racist far-right extremist and anti-immigration supporter detonated a car bomb in central Oslo’s government district before the disguised as a policeman fanatic began his mass shooting at a summer-leadership youth camp hosted by the Labor Party on nearby Utoya Island. The armed with an arsenal lunatic chased the youths, mostly children of politicians, all over the camp while shouting, “You are going to die today, Marxists.” Though sincerely told as a tragedy that reflects today’s embittered divide between the Left and the Right, and even if it’s heart-breaking and historic and a well-executed production, it still rings hollow when examined as a case study on the evil killer. After surrendering he went to trial a year after the tragedy and still remained the monster craving attention and glory for his barbarism by insisting he take the stand on his behalf to give us his contempt for diversity in Norway. His lawyer couldn’t even get him to plead insanity. The more poignant story is about one of the victims who survived (Jonas Strand Gravli), who has to endure for the rest of his life losing the sight of one eye and that a bullet fragment in his head could later invade his brain.
REVIEWED ON 11/14/2018 GRADE: B https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/