War Sailor Season 1 Review – A Sincere but Pointless Human Drama


Gunnar Vikene, the writer-director of the Netflix limited series War Sailor as well as the feature film War Sailor from 2022, is so convinced there is a tale to be told about sailors during World War II that he spent two and a half hours telling it in each.

War Sailor Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

War Sailor review: Is the new Netflix series worth watching?

Honestly, I have no idea how this three-part Norwegian original series came to be. Maybe the movie wasn’t quite good enough. In any case, here it is, proceeding in a similar manner and addressing the same issues, just as seriously and sympathetically, but lacking the urgency one might imagine the subject would require.

A less talented author would claim that the whole piece is left a little adrift, but you undoubtedly come here seeking more constructive feedback.

However, it is true. The Netflix adaptation of War Sailor is an hour and a half longer than the original theatrical run, but there isn’t really much else to say. As a result, limited series frequently settle for saying very little, if anything, for extended stretches before being abruptly overtaken by the drama of both the human and wartime sorts.

The central dynamic before, during, and after the war is the relationship between Sigborn Wally Kvalvag (Pal Sverre Hagen) and Alfred Freddy Garnes (Kristoffer Joner). These two men were placed in horrific situations and made to face terrible hardships that they are unable to move past. The most intriguing narrative premise in War Sailor is that the characters’ experiences during the war were merely an accident, brought on by a merchant ship getting entangled in the initial stages of the battle.

The three episodes, however, lose sight of certain fundamental principles of entertainment in the tangles of this connection and the tragedy that characterizes it.

Read More: Will There Be a War Sailor Season 2 on Netflix?

Is War Sailor Good or Bad?

War Sailor Review: Heartbreaking Tale of Friendship and Survival |  Leisurebyte

The first two episodes are marred by their erratic pacing and organization. The third is less vulnerable, although there’s a potential that many viewers will have given up long before then.

At least, it’s a handsome production. Capable actors who portray mostly regular people trapped in exceptional situations and need to endure or at least convincingly convey a variety of strong emotions treat the subject with respect. There is a hook. The objective is clear. There is just no rush to tie the two together.

At this point, World War II has been covered to death, so much so that new media examining it needs a perspective. War Sailor uses a similar concept to Dunkirk’s non-sequential storytelling, though arguably without the exacting watchmaker’s precision that made Nolan’s epic so excellent.

It also has a fairly narrow concentration on sailors and ships, which isn’t brand-new but is at least a point of emphasis. War Sailor does a nice job of capturing that horror and reinventing it within a very specific context. The water is terrible enough without enemy aircraft roaring overhead. Yet, it is more interested in the human element, the heavy toll that war takes on the men and women who fight it, and how its impact persists long after the last shot has been fired. This is why the decrepit ships are only one small part of the story.

Read More: Is Unseen on Netflix Based on A True Story?

Is War Sailor Worth Watching?

War Sailor Review: Heartbreaking Tale of Friendship and Survival |  Leisurebyte

Some people will enjoy the pace and assert that it heightens human drama. It’s hard to say, but they might be correct. In my opinion, War Sailor’s hurried and occasionally perplexing approach turned some people off. It seemed to be making an unnecessary effort to overcomplicate a profoundly humane tale that would have worked better had the events been allowed to speak for themselves without needless artistic flourish.

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Yet, as I previously stated, you need an angle for this sort of game these days. War Sailordoes a respectable job of presenting one, and it’s difficult to avoid becoming entangled in its plotting. Without a doubt, World War II is one of humanity’s worst failures, but on the plus side, it has historically been a relatively consistent source of dramatic human drama.

This is still true today, and this is a program that understands that war stories are fundamentally all about people—about them at their worst and best—about incredibly difficult circumstances, atrocious cruelty, and an unbreakable spirit. It’s quite a feat for War Sailor to make all of that so dull.

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