Writer: Dennis Magnusson, Eric Schmid (Screenplay) Mette M Bolstad, Lars Saabye Christensen (Story)
Starring: Benjamin Helstad, Trond Nilssen, Stellan Skarsgard, Kristoffer Joner, Magnus Langlete, Morten Lovstad
Plot: Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom?
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Powerful Performance Heavy Drama
Story: King of Devil’s Island starts Erling C-19 (Helstad) and Ivar C-5 (Langlete) arrive on Devil’s Island a young offenders prison run by Bestyrer Hakon (Skarsgard). We see how both the boys learn to deal with the new surrounding C-5 the quiet, shy one gets taken advantage of as he can’t handle the physical work involved while C-19 fails to follow the rules as he looks desperately for an escape from the reign of Bestyrer and Husfar Brathen (Joner). With C-1 (Nilssen) trying to teach the rules it is only a matter of time before C-19 gets what he wants, his freedom by forcing the boys to up rise against the men running the prison.
Thoughts on King of Devil’s Island
Story – The story here is showing just how disciplining young men can be a fine line between putting them in their place or only driving them further away from the right path. We see how the boys have come from different worlds but must learn to work together to make the right choice and how these boys were made to suffer at the hands of the discipline heavy authority they found themselves under. This is a hard story to watch but it well worth seeing.
Action/Drama – When it comes to the action it is mostly from the different levels of discipline our characters find themselves facing as well as the fighting, it all seems to be just what the film needs without being overly violent or just for the sake of it. The drama comes from seeing the situation the boys must go through with the consequences they face for what happens.
Characters/Performances – The characters are all brilliantly defined to show their pat present and future with our main five showing their weaknesses as well as their strengths. The performances are all wonderful with Skarsgard being powerful as ever, Joner showing all the shines his character represents. The younger cast also give powerful performances with Helstad, Nilssen and Langlete showing they will be names to follow in Nordic cinema.
Settings – With the whole film being set on the island we get to see that these boys were prisoners we get to see just how extreme the weather condition are when it comes to the punishment these boys have to go through that is becomes it very own character in the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a very powerful film that has truly powerhouse performances from the lead stars that tells a very important true story.
Overall: Very intense and powerful drama that is a must for all fans of the prison uprising films.