Posted Sep 09 2016
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Anthropoid - This Movie Rocks The Resistance

Dir: Sean Ellis

Starring Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Toby Jones, Charlotte Le Bon, Anna Geislerova

One of two films due this year about the assassination of third-biggest-Nazi-ever Reinhard Heydrich, and Sean Ellis’ Anthropoid not only gets here first but doesn’t even have the weirdest title. (That goes to the impending “HHhH”.) Anthropoid takes its name from the Operation to assassinate said Nazi leader, aka the Butcher of Prague, that saw a team of potential assassins parachuted into Czechoslovakia to fulfil their mission. Murphy and Dornan are the two we focus on as they attempt to embed themselves with the underground resistance and wait for the moment to make their move.

Ellis, who just about broke through a couple of years back with Metro Manila, is skilled at capturing a strong sense of time and place here, and uses his two leads – and their female counterparts Le Bon and Geislerova – to good effect. The film evokes a slow pace at first, but always maintains some degree of tension.

When it hits its third act however, everything changes with an impressively staged, and brilliantly sustained, shoot out at a church, that moves from solidly staged action to genuine pathos and concern. Altogether quietly – then very noisily – impressive.

(Plus it’s got Toby Jones looking anxious – always a good thing)

 

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