Monday, November 5, 2012

Film Recommendation of the week...

Flame and Citron
Release Date-July 31, 2009 [United States]
Running Time-2 hours and 16 minutes.
Danish/German/English w/English subtitles. 

This is a Danish drama/action film loosely based on two of the Holge Danske Resistance Fighters during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. These two cats, brilliantly played by actors Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen, are caught in a web of deceit that ultimately is to become their undoing. They must navigate the double and triple crossings of international espionage, while being used and simultaneously betrayed by almost side they unwittingly aid and abet while attempting to cause as much damage to the Germans by assassinating leading Nazis and Danish collaborators alike.

Flame (played by Thure Lindhardt)

Citron (played by Mads Mikkelsen)

The real life Danish Resistance Fighters, Jorgen Haagen Schmith (Citron) and Bent Faurschou-Hviid (Flame)-

The obligatory femme fatale, splendidly portrayed by Stine Stengade, winds up causing the most damage, as she runs papers and documents for the resistance group while providing Hoffman, head of the German Gestapo  (portrayed by the always excellent Christian Berkel) information on their whereabouts, identities, and activities. She not only seduces the red-headed Danish avenger, she is also Hoffman's mistress.

These guys don't play around. They are dedicated to their cause and have no qualms about assassinating any high-ranking Nazi officials or native Danes in cahoots with the National Socialists. This inevitable brings them into conflict with their superiors, who send messages and assignments from the Danish government-in-exile in London. What winds up undermining their efforts are moments of indecision, failure to act decisively and betrayal from seemingly all sides. Authentic heroism under such trying circumstances rarely ends well in real life, as is the case here.

Let us take a moment to thank the European film community for going against the grain of redundant, homogenized, Hollywood crap and having the courage to stand behind projects such as this one, which are not only better acted, directed and filmed than your average, intellectually low-brow drivel (see anything starring Adam Sandler or Kevin James-oh, someone please make sure "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is released on blu ray!!!) but are excellent examples of the many stories from the WW II era that need to be told.

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