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Kursk: The Last Mission [DVD]

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Vinterberg makes the interesting choice of bookending the film with a squeezed aspect ratio, only opening out in the close quarters of the sub that makes it simultaneously intimate and epic. That the Russians refused help at first was down to a combination of paranoia and pig-headed national pride.

Kursk - The Last Mission DVD - Fact based Submarine Story Kursk - The Last Mission DVD - Fact based Submarine Story

The film accurately portrays what is now accepted to have really happened: a hydrogen peroxide leak in one of the sub’s HTP (high test peroxide) torpedoes. The official report was put together by Vladimir Ustinov and he admits that was the most likely cause. Subject matter experts such as journalist Robert Moore (author of the novel upon which the film is based), David Russell (British Royal Navy commodore who had tried to save the men from the Kursk), and submarine expert Ramsey Martin acted as advisors for the film.The most notable, and successful, of these is Vinterberg’s decision to play with the screen ratio, only widening it out when the Kursk is submerged, and elsewhere, he employs intimate camerawork in the scenes between the men both above and below sea level, an independent touch in a broader picture, and some eerily effective views of the water that surrounds the ailing sub.

Review: Kursk-The Last Mission - 60 Minutes With

This is something which will disturb some audiences more than others, yet I can’t help but regard it as a limitation. That was the official Russian line afterwards,” says Grove, “after all the ‘we got rammed by an American submarine’ stuff. Time runs out for Russian Captain Mikhail Averin (Matthias Schoenaerts) and his crew, as their government refuses the help of the UK Navy headed by Captain David Russell (Colin Firth).First, there’s a 16-hour wait for authorities to even find the sub and then when located, there are deep structural issues with the potential mode of rescue, with shoddy, failing equipment making a difficult mission turn desperately impossible.

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