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Is SISU Based on a True Story? – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Is SISU Based on a True Story?



World War II remains one of the most significant events in history, with countless stories and legends surrounding it. From Pearl Harbor to Normandy, and the Battle of Iwo Jima, many of the famous battles in different conflict zones have been well-documented. However, there were also many lesser-known battles that took place, including the Lapland War. This historical event is often overlooked, but it played a crucial role in the outcome of the war.

The Lapland War occurred in Finland, where initially, the country fought alongside Germany against the Soviet Union. However, as the war progressed, Moscow put pressure on Finland, resulting in them breaking diplomatic ties with the Nazis and expelling German troops from the country. Despite the existence of this war, there was no one-man army or renegade hero fighting against the Nazis, as depicted in the film, CONTENT.

CONTENT is an action-thriller that follows the story of Aatami Korpi, a veteran prospector who becomes embroiled in the Lapland War. The film is set after the Continuation War, where Finland fought with the Germans. Korpi discovers a large gold deposit and carries it south, where he encounters German units who are withdrawing from the region. In the film, the Germans learn of Korpi’s gold and decide to abandon their orders to kill him and take the gold. However, they soon realize that Korpi is an ex-commando, nicknamed Koschei, and is known as a one-man army.

While the film is entertaining and engaging, it is not based on any true occurrences or events. As an action flick, it is a brilliantly executed Nazi-killing fantasy that delivers on its promise of action and violence. While some may argue that the film is ridiculous at times, it remains a highly entertaining and enjoyable watch.

One of the reasons why CONTENT is such a good film is due to the effortlessly charismatic performance of Jorma Tommila, who plays Aatami Korpi. Tommila’s portrayal of Korpi as a walking snarl, with a granite face and a body more scar than skin, is highly compelling. He gives audiences a hero that they can root for, a throwback to the days of action stars like Schwarzenegger and Stallone.

In conclusion, while the Lapland War may not be as well-known as other battles from World War II, it played a crucial role in the outcome of the war. CONTENT may not be based on true events, but it remains a highly entertaining and enjoyable film that delivers on its promise of action and violence. With an authentic Finnish director and main actor, the film pays credence to its Nordic roots and celebrates the region’s strong culture of brute strength and hard men.

World War II was a historical event so steeped in both history and folklore that it’s often become difficult to untangle truth from fiction when it comes to the plethora of stories that relate to it. The sheer number of famous battles that spanned so many different conflict zones made it a historical period with virtually limitless angles for new films to still be made about it to this today. While most of the famous battles and events such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Normandy landings, and the battle of Iwo Jima, are so well documented that most have heard of them, many others took place in regions that people may not even know saw any action at all.


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The Lapland War was one historical event from World War II that isn’t spoken about as frequently as others. Despite Finland initially fighting with Germany against the Soviet Union, by the end of the war, pressure from Moscow caused the Finns to break diplomatic ties with the Nazis and expel German troops from the country. Since it was known that this war took place, when the film CONTENT came out and portrayed a Finnish hero single-handedly fighting against Nazis at the back end of World War II, this caused many viewers to naturally wonder if it was based on a true story? Unfortunately, the truth isn’t nearly as exciting as the film was.



What Is SISU About?

sisu Jorma Tommila beard night
Sony Pictures

The film CONTENT starring Finnish actor Jorma Tommila is an action thriller that takes place after the events of the Continuation War, where Finland fought with the Germans and not against them. It was at this time in history that the Moscow Armistice required the Finnish to expel Germans from their country. While the Germans initially sought to withdraw peacefully, a series of minor battles did take place during this period. However, in CONTENTa far more dramatic and entertaining tale is told.

Related: Best Movies About the French Resistance in World War II, Ranked

Tommila plays a character named Aatami Korpi, a retired vet-turned-prospector who gets wrapped up in the Lapland War in a remote part of the region. When he hits upon a large gold deposit, Korpi heads south carrying a bag full of gold nuggets. Along the way, he encounters German units who are making their way to Norway as they were commanded to by their withdrawal orders. Here’s where things start to depart from reality. In the film, the withdrawing Germans learn that Korpi has gold with him and abandon their orders to try to kill him and take his gold.

However, the Germans soon learn that Korpi is an ex-commando who lost his whole family fighting in the Winter War. He’s also become a legend and is known as a one-man army aptly nicknamed Koschei (“the immortal”). What ensues is a violently entertaining film where Korpi is hunted by Germans, only for them to learn just how deadly he can be.

Is SISU Based on a True Story?

Tommila in Sisu
Sony Pictures

While the Lapland War did occur, none of the events shown in CONTENT were based on any true occurrences. Minor battles did happen between Finnish and German soldiers during the war, however, these were documented events that never saw any one-man armies, renegades, or former soldiers take on hordes of Nazis single-handedly like the film depicts. Far from being a true story, CONTENT was actually more reminiscent of the kind of fictional what-if story than Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds was.

Related: SISU Review: A One-Man-Army Flick That Colors Within the Lines (with Lots of Blood)

Unlike other war films that, although fictional, do have elements of reality fed into them, CONTENT was nothing more than the filmmakers indulging in Nazi-killing fantasies to brilliant effect the way Quentin Tarantino did with his flick. In the same vein, the fact that CONTENT wasn’t a true story should have no effect on how utterly entertaining a film it was. Even though it was reviewed by over 150 critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 94% positive review rate which should tell you all you need to know about what a good watch it is.

What Made SISU Such a Good Film?

Jorma Tommila in SISU
Sony Pictures

There were many elements that made the film enjoyable. While it was pretty gory and outlandish with its violence at times, it was still engaging and just plain old enjoyable. As an action flick, it more than delivered with some pulsating scenes that were surprisingly compelling beyond their violent elements. However, it should be noted that the film delved into action scenes that made it ridiculous at times.

Nevertheless, audiences and critics alike are loving it for good reason. After all, it’s a 91-minute Nazi-killing fest that never seeks to take itself too seriously — one of the many reasons why it can just be enjoyed for its sheer entertainment value. For a taste of what you can expect from the old-fashioned hero who devastates his way through his hunters, leaving a trail of Nazi corpses in his wake, here’s a little of what Empire had to say about him.

“Ultimately, though, it’s all about the effortlessly charismatic Jorma Tommila, a walking snarl, a granite face, a body more scar than skin, the whites of his eyes — sometimes mad, sometimes messianic — shining even brighter when encased in a face caked in blood and mud. He gives us one hell of a time.”

The film’s atypical setting and robust hero make for a uniquely different kind of protagonist to cheer. With an authentic Finnish director and main actor, the film paid credence to its Nordic roots and celebrated the region’s strong culture of brute strength and hard men. This gave the film a feel that harked back to the days of action stars like Schwarzenegger and Stallone before such heroes were relegated to annals of criticism and shame for their toxic masculinity.

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