For years, the Norwegian Blue Mountain franchise has entertained children of all ages in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This is the first feature film.
Written by Bjørn-Åge Borger
Magic Silver is based on the TV series Christmas on Blue Mountain (original title: Jul i Blåfjell) and Christmas on Moon Peak (original title: Jul på Månetoppen) from 1999 and 2002.
The film Magic Silver (original title: Julenatt i Blåfjell) was directed by Katarina Launing and Roar Uthaug, and stars Simen Bakken, Lillian Lydersen, Sigve Bøe, Finn Schau and Jan Gunnar Røise in the main roles. The story is about Princess Mountain Rose who has never been outside the safe walls of the mountain. The world out there seems big and dangerous for the nervous princess. One day something happens that changes everything; Mountain Rose’s father Mountain King has been struck by Grey Eyes and his time is coming to an end. His daughter learns that the so-called House People has something that makes ill people healthy again. To save the one she loves the most, she must spite fear and leave Blue Mountain.
This film is a spin-off from Christmas calendars on NRK and if you have not seen those, it could potentially be a problem when watching this film. However, that is not the case since the film opens with scenes that explains the premise, practical for anyone not already into the Blue Mountain universe. Additionally, the story in the movie takes place 100 years before the TV series, so there is no problem with understanding the concept.
Roar Uthaug, one of two directors, have made a some good movies like Cold Prey, Escape and The Wave. In 2018 his first Hollywood movie follows, a new entry in the Tomb Raider series. Katarina Launing has mostly worked for a TV channel on the soap opera Hotel Cæsar, but also the feature film Kick It! (aka Kule Kidz gråter ikke, 2014).
The main problem with this film seems to be the special effects. Rather than using practical effects and the great Norwegian natural scenery, cheap and poor looking effects were used. Considering the film had a 20 million NOK budget, which is ample for a children’s movie, they should have gotten more out of their efforts.
The story itself has no major flaws and is pretty entertaining for adults and children alike (I assume) and is easy to follow without getting bored. A playing time of only 84 minutes helps. The performances are not bad either. The child actors are not as annoying as they tend to be in this type of films, and the professional actors like Finn Schau, Jan Gunnar Røise and my personal favourite Kyrre Hellum do a good job.
Magic Silver got a sequel in 2011, called Silver Magic 2: The Hunt for the Magic Horn. Most of the actors from the first film are in that one as well, so it might be worth checking out.
This film is first and foremost aimed at younger children and they are likely to get the most out of the film, but adults survive just fine too.
Guest writer Bjørn-Åge Borger is a specialist blogger who has reviewed more than 200 Christmas films since 2009.