7.2/10
758
4 user 1 critic

Men at Arms (2005)

Malev (original title)
A fake historic epic on the Middle Ages and Estonia's not-so-glorious past.

Director:

Kaaren Kaer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ott Sepp Ott Sepp ... Uru
Mirtel Pohla Mirtel Pohla ... Ilge
Uku Uusberg Uku Uusberg ... Tugis
Argo Aadli Argo Aadli ... Leholas
Üllar Saaremäe Üllar Saaremäe ... Mentor Wolfram
Mait Malmsten Mait Malmsten ... Brother Wismuth
Ain Mäeots Ain Mäeots ... Lembitu
Merle Jääger Merle Jääger ... Lembela
Märt Avandi ... Jurmala's bailiff Hippolyt
Raivo E. Tamm Raivo E. Tamm ... Bishop Albert
Anti Kobin Anti Kobin ... Manivalde
Sergo Vares ... Henry of Livonia
Kusti Laid Kusti Laid ... Young Uru
Tarmo Tagamets Tarmo Tagamets ... Brother Joschka / Vesse
Dajan Ahmet Dajan Ahmet ... Chingis-Khan
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Storyline

Year 1208. The first Eastward enlargement of Europe is under way. Brutal forces of the Teutonic Order are steadily marching on. In their path live a simple and peaceful people, whose main pastimes include cultivating the earth, singing and, if possible, doing both at the same time. They are the Estonians. Ignorant in the ways of war, they find an unlikely leader in a young boy with Catholic upbringing. In their fight for freedom, the Estonians encounter numerous obstacles, including the Germans, French, Russians and, worst of all, the Latvians. Will they succeed in defeating their enemies or will they experience a cultural awakening? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Comedy

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Details

Country:

Estonia

Language:

Estonian

Release Date:

9 September 2005 (Estonia) See more »

Also Known As:

Harcra fel See more »

Filming Locations:

Kuressaare, Estonia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Braveheart (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's better to be warned.
17 May 2007 | by arkif1See all my reviews

Malev is a film that is hardly enjoyable when you have the wrong expectations, I experienced that myself. But if you already know what expects you, you can look over certain things and concentrate on others.

There are two things in particular that have an especially disenchanting effect, namely the pacing and the subtleness. The pacing is awkward, there's no rhythm, no dynamic, no development. The film is slow, repetitive and without any sense of proportion. And as for the subtleness, there isn't any. If you were to define the word "crude", a reference to this film would give an excellent example.

So, keep that in mind when watching this film and don't get too angry over it. There are three people portrayed in this film, the French, the Germans and the Estonians. The crudeness of this portray has to be ignored in order to see a pretty interesting structure there, namely that within these people we have in each case two kinds of people, those who are actually doing something and those who are just enjoying their own magnificence. Lots of the humour lies just in the clash of these two fractions (mostly within the Estonians, to a lesser degree also within the Germans) and while the film is absolutely devoid of subtleness, it is in a very infantile way truthful in its depiction.

To see that is a bit difficult though, who looks in a film for psychological accuracy, when the film starts with declaring the French a nation of frog eaters, the Germans a nation of Hitler doubles and the Estonians...? Well, at least they fall under different regional stereotypes, but they are all as sophisticated as those about the Germans and the French. Yet the film reduces its protagonists pretty accurately to their infancy, viewed as children they exhibit an almost credible behaviour.

So, Malev is, I hate to say that, better than it seems on first disgusted glance.


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