Anthropoid Movie Review
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We need another movie about the Holocaust like we need another movie about slavery in the United States of America. We’ve done everything from a little boy in striped pajamas to a death following a German girl who steals books as well as a Tarantino revenge plot starring “The Bear Jew”. That’s all within the last 8 years!
Perhaps this is not the best mindset in which to enter a film I was about to review, but there I was. Cillian Murphy (Inception (2010)), one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, and Jamie Dornan (Mr.Grey, himself of Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) fame) play undercover agents for the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. Jozef (Murphy) and Jan (Dornan) could not be more different as they plant themselves in Prague after searching for their contact. The two meet resistance fighters that paint, what I can only assume is, a realistic portrait of what it’s like living during Hitler’s and Stalin’s reign. The men attempt to blend in and attach themselves to two young women, Lenka and Marie, who allow them to look less conspicuous while walking around town. The two men are there for one reason, Operation Anthropoid. The mission: assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, one of the highest ranking Nazis as well as the orchestrator of Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia.
Based on a true story, the premise of Anthropoid is enough to keep viewers on their toes throughout. Don’t expect a fast paced action packed thriller that we have become used to as most of the fighting and action takes place towards the end the film. This type of movie is one you must pay close attention to. Thick accents and interchangeable foreign names (at least to this American) make it a challenge at times to follow along. By the end there were three Jan’s as well as a Jozef or two listed in their squad so maybe it’s not just me.
Anthropoid wetted my curiosity and inspired me to research how this event really transpired, which is about the highest compliment a historical film can get from me. I was pleased to find that the film did a fantastic job of sticking to the events that took place and did not weight it down with too much romance in an attempt to “humanize” the agents as so many films attempt to do. Again, while this film is historically accurate, I would not classify it as an action packed movie so bear that in mind.
With so many perspectives to share and so many countries affected, the amount of stories, both fiction and nonfiction, are endless. World War II is proof that some humans are more than capable of evil. We mustn’t forget that but at what point does it feel like too much? This would be a wonderful movie to show a high school history class as it’s not pretty and has not been “Hollywood-ified”. That being said, at what point does honoring history become capitalizing on outright horror for a big buck? Luckily that is not the case with Anthropoid. You can catch the biographical thriller in theaters now.