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Frustrating and Disconcerting War Film
on 8 February 2015
Resistance is a most frustrating film based on the first novel of
the same name by Owen Sheers, and directed by Amit Gupta.
The biggest difficulty for me was the disconnect between what we
know happened and what might have happened had the Nazi's actually
Set in 1944, we have to assume that the D-Day landings have failed
and that the UK is under the occupation of Hitler's regime.
The film opens with the women of a small Welsh farming community
finding that all of their men folk have disappeared. As the film
unfolds, we learn that the men have gone to join the British
Resistance. Michael Sheen in what seems more like a cameo performance
rather than a full role, plays Tommy Atkins a resistance leader, who
is mentoring George (Iwan Rheon) a young resistance messenger about
Captain Albrecht (Tom Wlaschiha) is a young German officer exhausted
from the Russian Front and now seeking a quiet life keeping order in
the Welsh valley. Sarah (Andrea Riseborough) in the role of shocked
farmers wife, with a totally expressionless face throughout, plays
the female lead.
As the film unfolds, we learn that Albrecht is a Medievalist and has
been sent to steal art treasures for the Reich. He stumbles across the
famous Mappa Mundi from Hereford Cathedral which has been hidden in a
cave, he shows it to Sarah who seems unimpressed.
The film tries to convey something of the difference between cooperation
and collaboration with the local populace and the invading army, but I
feel that it fails miserably in that the Director leaves his viewers
with little substance. The film ends with Sarah setting fire to the
Mappa Mundi and walking off into the foggy mountains, to a new life
or to commit suicide? We are left to guess. Most disconcerting!
There is an absence of actual warfare, unless we watch the Special
Features which are minimalist at best, and worthless after we have
seen the main film credits roll.
Such a great cast of actors, wasted by poor Direction.
Too many unexplained questions in what could have been a great film.
Perhaps I should read the book to find the answers, but the film has
put me off.
Running time 88 minutes.
Feel pushed to give it a 3 star rating.