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3.0 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 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
invaded Britain.
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
his duties.
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.
No subtitles.
Feel pushed to give it a 3 star rating.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Based on a novel, this 'what if' historical thriller is set in an alternative 1944 where Britain has been invaded by the Nazis. London has fallen; Birmingham and Manchester are under siege, and German troops are moving through the Welsh valleys to seek out and steal hidden artworks and artefacts. Meanwhile, the men from one valley have left their farms and fields, gone to join the fight, without a word to the women they have left behind to face the Germans and somehow run the farms.

A small party of German soldiers is detached to the area, and their thoughtful, war-weary officer senses an opportunity for a quieter life in rural Wales, away from the brutality of the eastern front. Although his men receive a hostile reception from the women, they gradually become accustomed to each other, and the delineation between cooperation, confrontation and collaboration becomes blurred with increasing familiarity and the simple, shared tasks of day to day life.
With a brilliant set-up like that, this should have been a stunning film. Instead it's curiously stilted and muffled. Iwan Rheon puts in an excellent performance as a young lad indoctrinated to be a resistance fighter, no matter what the personal cost. But his mentor, played by Michael Sheen, makes only a few strangely stunted appearances, and the German characters -- commanding officer apart -- are scarcely given the opportunity to rise above two-dimensional caricatures.
The miserly special features (three miniscule mini-docs and a commentary; no subtitles) reveal part of the problem. Resistance on DVD runs to less than an hour and a half and the book is far longer, and the behind the scenes footage shows that whole story arcs, characters and important scenarios have been hacked out from the final edit.
That's a real shame, because the rest of the film shows genuine promise, an intelligent plot, and it showcases a couple of outstanding performances. But the actions of the protagonists in the rushed conclusion are baffling, incomprehensible and unrewarding. And the whole pace of the film feels wrong: not surprising when you understand that many of the scenes which were intended to denote the passage of time have been snipped, leaving the viewer confused and unsettled.

There are time when less is more, but this wasn't one of those moments.
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on 29 October 2014
NB This film has no subtitles for hard of hearing viewers, although some German dialogue is of course subtitled. If you've seen the trailer then you've seen all the high points of this film, which was disappointing. The questions set up by the intriguing premise are not answered, so much so that I may seek out the book in the hope of filling in gaps. If you pay close attention you may spot fleeting micro expressions cross Andrea Riseborough's face, which is otherwise immobile throughout, with the probable intention of conveying that her character is so stunned by anguish and cold that she is numb. Alternatively you could stick some googly eyes on a milk bottle and look at that for 90 mins.
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on 2 August 2015
Very thought provoking film, beautifully shot on traditional "film" not digital cameras. My only criticism is that it seemed to be a victim of some ruthless editing in parts- some plot lines did not make sense- and ( from the "making of the film" material) some major scenes cut. The lovely Kimberley Nixon didn't end up with any spoken lines!
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on 1 January 2013
What a shame. An excellent cast wasted in this film. An opportunity lost. If you haven't read the book, then you will not know what it's all about. The script has been pared down too much and subsequently all dramatic effect is lost.
I would really like to give a better rating because as I say, the cast is good but the direction, in my view, is just too minimalist.
0Comment|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I loved the premise of this film, it is an alternative ending to WW2 where Hitler wins or at least is winning the war. It is set in 1944, London is being besieged and as the plucky Brits fight em on the landing fields and everywhere else, life in a sleepy Welsh valley takes a sudden change. The women wake up and find all the men have gone. Now there were regional plans for resistance and they were based around absolute secrecy, so not telling your wife that you are going to `off' a Jerry or two is totally believable.

Well the women are all a bit stunned especially as winter is bearing down and they have been left to run the farms all by themselves. Then The Germans arrive. They are a mixed bunch and authenticity fans may not be pleased with the uniforms or the SS motor bike as they are Wermacht - oh the humanity!

Well their captain or Kapitain is called Albrecht played by Tom Wlaschiha. He is an ambiguous one indeed, he has been sent to the valley to find a map that is wanted by high command so in order to ensure it does not get spirited away he closes down the valley, no one in and no one out. What we then get is a strange kind of reverse Stockholm effect and the whole plot gets more and more compromised. To say any more would be a spoiler.

Made with the aid of Welsh public funds it claims to star Michael Sheen as Tommy Atkins, well he on screen for about five minute we actually see more of one of the horses and he don't get a mention in the credits, so if you want to see the lovely Mr Sheen this one is not for you, but bless him for supporting this very independent effort from director Amit Guta. Kimberley Nixon as Bethan is great too and plays the conflict of emotions with raw energy. The dialogue is kept to the minimum and this is very bleak, whilst capturing the beauty of the landscape and the whole pastoral struggle for life against nature, it can be over whelming. The Germans tend to speak in German too which is translated and added to the authenticity for me.

The concept is brilliant but this is a story of a little village community and the relationships of the conqueror over the not quite vanquished. It is not an action film, there are a couple of battle scenes in flashback but nothing to get excited about, this is a slow but paced drama of smouldering passions and mixed emotions that uses an alternate history as the vehicle. From the book by Owen Sheers so if you liked this then you might want to check that out.
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on 22 February 2015
I bought this dvd after only seeing the trailer--- I hadn't read the reviews[big mistake].The dvd portrayed itself as a 'resistance struggle' when German soldiers come to occupy a village in Wales,after invading England in WW2[ in some strange universe].Well it sounded a little different--so I tried it.WHAT A BIG MISTAKE!!!.The story is SO SLOW and SO BORING that you would be completely forgiven for falling asleep.What was the purpose of this dvd,please?At least going by the title I would have expected a little more ,shall we say,---RESISTANCE!!!! Take no notice either of the picture on the front----the' flames' are not even part of the story in the village.Also I know this is probably going to go down like a lead balloon BUT---'-collaborating' animals????!!![you'll have to have watched to understand]The story of supposed co-operation between the German soldiers and the women of the village when times get tough for them all---didn't work,sorry.What on earth is Michael Sheen doing in this?You don't hardly see him and to show him as a' main' actor is completely wrong----so why bother.[it only goes to further my thoughts that some people will do ANYTHING for a' dollar'].The ending is also a little odd----but that just keeps in with the rest of the film.I am very sorry to say---another waste of time and a waste of another hour1/2 of my precious life.WILL I EVER LEARN??
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on 21 March 2012
Wow. There are films that are dark and depressing and desperate, and then there's this. Slow, almost silent, incredibly bleak - although beautiful at the same time. All the characters are torn and troubled and the actors do a fine job of conveying complex emotions with next to no dialogue. They're all quite magnificent. Although I agree with reviewer Olly Buxton that the most interesting character is Wlaschia's conflicted nazi, Captain Albrecht. On the plus side, it's a film that keeps you guessing until the end because pretty much anything could happen to the central characters, but on the downside, with so little dialogue, I found the ending fairly ambiguous and confusing (I admit, I had to check with my other half that I'd even understood it). Overall, beautiful, sparse and brilliantly acted, but beware of watching it if you're already feeling a little blue. This might push you over the edge.
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on 3 June 2014
A very 'hyped' trailer persuaded me to rent this film. Can't understand what is being said - too much muttering and nothing happens
Potentially an interesting story but - the missing men never appear
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on 29 December 2011
Resistance [DVD]
'Resistance' is the truly believable story of what could have happened to a group of farmers wives from the mountains of Wales, who suddenly found their lives in peril, as they realise that Britain had lost the Second World War. The Germans were advancing on them and their simple lives. The women had been abandoned by their men, who they presume, have gone off to fight the enemy as resistance fighters. The women are in fear of rape, imprisonment or even worse being sent to concentration camps in Germany. One day, a German patrol suddenly arrives in their valley. The next day, the snow comes down, thus trapping the women and their enemies on the mountain together, with no form of escape from either side.

The women keep a frosty distance, but the German soldiers realise that they too are in a good place and don't want to be sent back to their regiment. So a form of armed neutrality develops as the Germans begin to help the women with their tasks their husbands would normally have performed around the farm. It is cold, very hard work and there is very little food for any of them or their animals.
The film painstakingly explores the depths of feelings felt on either side, thus building a tension which the whole audience feels. Dialogue is sparse. It is all in the feelings, which this film so cleverly develops through beautiful photographic scenery of the Welsh Black Mountains, incorporating rushing rivers, dilapidated stone farm houses, deep snow scenes as well as glorious lighting of the fabulous Llanthony Abbey.

Perhaps more could have been made of the story ? But with Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen appearing in this low budget film (what a compliment to have them!) as well as Sharon Morgan's magnificent portrayal of Maggie, the oldest farmer's wife - this leaves you with deep feelings as "This could have happened to us" - "How would we have reacted if we had been put in the same position as the farmers wives?"

Don't expect to see horrors here. But do expect to be moved by the tension and fears that both sides engender. It is a very worthy film, which will be on your mind for weeks after.
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