A torpedo exploded aboard the K-141 Kursk during a Russian navy exercise in 2000, causing the nuclear submarine to quickly sink to the bottom of the Barents Sea in northern Norway. A second explosion took place that ended up killing most of the 118 Russian sailors. The 23 survivors took refuge in the most distant compartments and the painful wait for rescue, which due to Russian negligence, did not arrive.
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt), the film is based on a real story and is narrated and produced in a very moving and human way. This submarine, Kursk, was one of the best equipped and prepared made during the Cold War, which belonged to the Oscar II category and was part of the northern fleet, which suffered from budget cuts throughout the 90s, resulting in early retirement of various submarines and surface vessels. Due to the crisis that dragged on in Russia in the years that followed until the end of the USSR, the Kursk made only one mission in the five years that it was in the service of the navy, being sent to the Mediterranean for six months to follow the work of the sixth US fleet. .
In the first 20, 30 minutes the plot introduces us to the sailors preparing for this mission and how friendly they are. It is very exciting and beautiful to see the interaction of the characters that at all times express a very real, very fraternal friendship bond and how that community itself is very friendly. Those first minutes play the role of connecting with them, of knowing who the characters are, how they live and act, of caring for them, of seeing their women, children and families, it gives us a sense of how much they risk every time that they embark on a mission. With impeccable photography, it gives us the feeling of terrifying moments due to the cold and dark colors. A well-tied script and a soundtrack that shivers your spine from so much tension and despair.
This film makes a veiled criticism of the Russian government, interestingly, Vladmir Putin, was in the presidency for four months and during the accident, the president was on vacation and the film made no mention of Putin, implying that no matter how critical he is the film and that in certain situations we know which side it is on, it also shows that not to mention Putin, is on the fence. But we can understand that, in fact the Kursk contained military secrets that could not be revealed and that is perhaps why it took so long to accept aid.
These dramatic suspense is dry and straightforward. It is a mixture of emotions, you feel angry and despair together with the survivors, languishing and tirelessly postponing the moment of death and not only that, we see the despair of their families who fight and fight for positive news or not, about the tragedy that ended up killing 118 people. The problem begins when one of the sailors responsible for the torpedo area, warns that one of the self-propelled explosive projectiles has an internal temperature changed, and every moment it changes and the boy asks for authorization to dispatch the torpedo that is denied, according to the Commander, they still had seven minutes until the moment to release the projectile, but there is no time, second later, the first explosion happens.
This scene is very important for the following events in the narrative. In a crude and unexpected way, the explosion happens. Then, a second explosion happens even bigger, reaching the remaining compartments. The locations least affected by the explosions are couplings 7, 8 and 9. But even so, they are not totally safe. Due to the large amount of water that enters the compartments, flooding everything, the lack of energy and oxygen. And the soundtrack is something that guides our feelings, it is almost impossible not to get carried away by the moments of sadness, tension and despair. The accident happens in the first half hour of the film, and in the other one and a half hours, we have the rescue, which apparently could have happened successfully, if the government did not mess up so much. The Norwegian and British government offered help, but according to the Russians, their equipment was good enough, capable of successfully carrying out a rescue.
However, in the film it is seen that no, the Russians do not have the minimum technical conditions to save the lives of these 23 survivors and as much as they try to save their companions on board the submarine, they cannot. Their equipment is outdated and old. The only thing they can do is be aware of the seriousness of the accident. It is worth mentioning that, the English commander wants to help, but he cannot do it on his own initiative - he does not want to start a third world war -, we are angry, because the entire Russian government itself, treats the situation very calmly. Meetings, negotiations and dialogues take time and nothing is resolved. Captain Lieutenant wrote two notes that confirmed the number of survivors on the submarine and despite being addressed to the family, it is the only existing evidence that there were 23 survivors of the two explosions that destroyed much of the submersible.
“It is dark here to write, but I will try to feel it. It seems that there are no possibilities, 10-20%. Let's hope that at least someone reads this. Greetings to all. There is no need to be desperate. ”
- Captain Lieutenant Dmitri Kolesnikov
But why should I watch?
For the story is moving and touching while the beautiful performance of Léa Seydoux, Matthias Schoenaerts, Colin Firth e grande elenco passam a emoção por trás desse trágico acontecimento. É uma prova de coragem, amor, arrependimento… Mulheres que disseram aos seus esposos que o amavam pela última vez, filhos que brincaram com seus pais pela última vez, familiares que não tiveram a chance de dizer adeus. Uma oferta que poderia ter evitado a morte e o descaso que mostra que tudo é uma questão de poder. Não é um filme para os russos e sim sobre eles. Esse acidente foi notícia no mundo todo e tem o seu roteiro idealizado por Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan), which was based on the investigative book A Time To Die in Robert Moore.
With a premiere date scheduled for January 9, 2020, Kursk: The Last Mission takes 4 lives out of 5.