Kursk: Matthias Schoenaerts at the helm [Critique]

Thomas Vinterberg effectively tells the true story of the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk in 2000.

France 3 is programming two ambitious European films this evening: Kursk, by Thomas Vinterberg, released in theaters in November 2018, then Only the beasts, by Dominik Moll, released in theaters a year later. Here are the reviews of First.

Only the beasts or the sophisticated weirdness of Dominik Moll [critique]

Kursk begins with a great idea: after a prologue filmed in 4/3 format, the image goes to the scope when the title’s submarine, filmed from far away, plunges into the waves to the sound of an elegiac choir by Alexandre Desplat . Like his recent jobs – for example in The fantastic world of Oz Where Mommy– this spectacular change of setting announces the entry into another world, bigger than life : the one where we exhibit the means specific to the cinema to better affirm that this story could not have been told otherwise. Well, in fact, this account of the dramatic sinking of the Kursk fails to be anything other than a very honest “based on a true story” (even though the film doesn’t contextualize its action, with the exception of one. excerpt from Metallica concert in Moscow). Kursk could happen at any time in the inevitably deliquescent post-Cold War Russia from 1990 to the present day. The boats are rotten, the soldiers in power have old obtuse beards (but the English sailors, on the other hand, are chivalrous rescuers). The script does not dwell on the “true story” side (we never even mention the name of Vladimir Putin), preferring to focus its energy on the human drama. In the last moments of a band of Russian sailors – led by a Mathias Schoenaerts of incredible sincerity – promised a terrible death because of the inertia of power. From this point of view, the film is perfectly successful.

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