U: July 22 (2018)

U – July 22.jpgDirector: Erik Poppe
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Starring: Andrea Berntzen, Aleksander Holmen, Brede Fristad, Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne, Solveig Koløen Birkeland, Jenny Svennevig, Ingeborg Enes Kjevik, Sorosh Sadat, Ada Eide, Mariann Gjerdsbakk, Daniel Sang Tran, Torkel Dommersnes, Magnus Moen, Karoline Schau, Tamanna Agnihotri

From Hercules to the White House under attack, it's common to see multiple films released close together, similar in premise or themes. This year saw two depictions of the Norway Attacks, which occurred on 22nd July 2011, taking entirely different approaches.

While Paul Greengrass' Netflix film focused on the aftermath, Erik Poppe decides to focus on the horrific attack at the Utøya summer camp. Created in close dialogue with the real life survivors, the aim was to make the action feel as real as possible, and that mission has certainly been accomplished. By seemingly shooting the feature entirely in one take, viewers are given the opportunity to know the characters and care for their relationships (all fictional creations for the film), before the first shots ring out.

Viewers are put alongside the depicted victims, thrust into this nightmare that feels relentless, and unending. The unfolding 90 minutes are as unnerving and unsettling an experience as the best of the horror genre, executed phenomenally with thanks to the tremendous cast who sell their absolute terror. Front and centre is a phenomenal Andrea Berntzen, doing a phenomenal job in meeting the challenges of the role headfirst. As for the perpetrator of it all, the director wanted to not grant any attention to them, so they're kept as a figure on the periphery. The result is not an easy watch, and one you won't forget soon after.

A haunting 90 minutes that grips one from early on, U: July 22 is an unforgettable experience.


Myerla said…
I haven't seen the film, but I heard this doesn't show Brevik (except from afar). This is contrast to Greengrass' film. Does the film kinda sweep the "whys" under the carpet? Unlike the other film which takes them head on.
Myerla said…
and your review mentions it also
James Rodrigues said…
The focus is more on the victims than Brevik. It's a very different beast from Greengrass' film.