Into the White has all the trappings of a fantastic stage play: a solid main cast with a few standouts, the use of one confined space as a set for the majority of the piece, and incredible historical importance. The kicker: it’s based on a true story. Directed by Petter Naess, the film tells the story of two British and three German pilots shot down over Norway in a hotly contested oil-rich area during WWII. When their paths cross, they find a remote cabin to take refuge in. Luckily, the building has a stove and beds. Unluckily, they have to face the fact that they’re supposed to be enemies. As the story progresses, however, they decide survival is more important than war. They all become friends somewhat hesitantly, but by the end of the film, their on-screen friendships are so potent that you’re asking yourself ‘where did the party go?’ when the credits begin.
The amazing thing about this story is that they none of them died by the hands of the other four. This is an endearing film because screenwriters Naess, Ole Meldgaard and Dave Mango commit to each character’s arc. Horst (Florian Lukas), the unofficial leader of the German contingent in the film, goes from drawing a line down the center of the cabin and sending Strunk, the heavy (Stig Henrik Hoff), to monitor the Brits’ bathroom breaks, to allowing Englishman Davenport (Lachlan Nieboer) to take care of his young injured co-pilot (David Kross) and singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ with Northerner Smith (Rupert Grint). It’s Lukas and Grint that really stand out here. Their performances are dynamite and they make the movie worth seeing for those performances alone. But that’s not all this film has to offer. Packed inside of an hour and forty minutes is a history lesson, a master class in ensemble acting, and an amazing story of trust, survival, and wartime compassion.