by Tony Medley
Runtime 120 minutes.
Not for children.
World War I was a
disaster run by arrogant imbeciles in London, Berlin, and Paris,
resulting in millions of deaths in places like the Battle of the Somme.
But there are decisions that were made in World War II there were just
as idiotic, and this is a film about one of them, the assassination of
Nazi monster SS officer Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in
Heydrich was one of
the masterminds behind the “final solution” to kill all the Jews in
Europe. While his death might have been desirable, the revenge of the
Nazis made it not worthwhile, and the Nazis actions were not only
predictable, according to this movie, they were foreseen.
Czechoslovakian government in exile in London ordered the assassination
of Heydrich and sent in seven parachutists to do the job. This shows
Joseph Gabčík (Cilian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan) as two of the
parachuters sent to do a job that would have enormous negative
consequences for the poor Czechs.
If you know anything
about this ill-advised plan, then this is a devastatingly long and
depressing film to sit through. Unfortunately, I do know about the
assassination and, as a result, I was looking at my watch constantly.
However, if you don’t
know anything about it, it is an interesting and relatively well done
film that can educate you on the horrors of the Nazi regime, and what
conquered countries had to go through. It is even more depressing when
you realize that poor Czechoslovakia was bargained away by naïve British
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938 so that he could achieve
“peace in our time,” but peace for whom? Certainly not the Czechs. And,
as it turned out, not for anyone else, either.
The color of the film is
washed out. I don’t know if there was a reason for this, but they wasted
their money in making this film in color because it is of such
low-quality that it would’ve been better off in black and white. Like
most films today, it is at least 30 minutes too long. And the filmmakers
throw in a Hollywood love affair that probably has no basis in fact and
no raison d’être. It is, in fact, cringeworthy. They also picture one of
the parachutists as too fearful to pull the trigger on a traitor at the
beginning, threatening the entire mission, which seemed to me to be
without any basis in fact and, therefore, unnecessary and defamatory to
a very brave man.
But the rest of the film
seems to be factual, especially the recreation of the assassination
attempt and the final denouement, both of which are extremely well done.