A War follows the story of company commander, Claus M. Pedersen, and his men stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark, Claus’ wife Maria, is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him – and his family back home.
It doesn’t show anything new in the ongoing troubles of the conflicts in Afghanistan, it shows the intensity of combat in the field with matter-of-factness. With a long list of amazing war films that have described the hideousness of what occurs, whether the location be in Vietnam, the Middle East, or even during the American Civil War, these have very much been from the American perspective – which isn’t a bad thing. In A War, we get to see a small glimpse of the difference in tone and simplicity of the film that didn’t require anything large of scale or “gun-ho” interpretations to tell an emotional story. It’s about a good man doing what would be considered appropriate in the situation.
Although this film felt a little too long, the film is well crafted with no villains or heroes, just circumstances that force men to make in the moment decisions when their lives are being threatened. The performances are honest and ring true. You really gain a glimpse into the life of a military family and the consequences of what happens on the field reflects and affects the family.