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Great Film of a Great Play: "Copenhagen", by Michael Frayn,
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This review is from: Copenhagen (2002) + Archangel (2005) (Region 2) (Import) (DVD)
Review of “Copenhagen” von Michael Frayn:
The fact that I think "Copenhagen" is one of the great plays of the last fifty or even hundred years will probably have influenced my rating, I suppose. Nonetheless, this method of making a film of what was originally an award-winning stage play is superb, and the acting in the film is very very good.
Daniel Craig's portrayal of the German Werner Heisenberg shows a top theoretical scientist of middle age, who - half unbeknown to his conscious self - has the key to the answer to all the Nazi fantasies of unlimited power. As he is no Nazi and has serious doubts about his own government, he - in characteristic naivety - travels to his Jewish fatherly friend in German-occupied Copenhagen in the year 1941, to ask him about the "ethics" of their knowledge. Niels Bohr, who understands even more about how the theory can be turned into practice, sees himself confronted with a man who was once a combination of brilliant doctoral student and wish-son, everything a thinking man could ask for in a scholarly and personal exchange. What this younger man does not have is the one key idea that will turn the theory into a terrible reality. What he does have is a question that could easily lead him to this idea.
The true story of their meeting in Copenhagen, which ended as a personal disaster for both of them, is the object of this drama. Frayn's theme in the repeated attempts by the now-dead protagonists to reconstruct exactly who said what to whom and who should have listened to whom is "the indeterminacy of human thinking" and "How we know why people do what they do, and even how one knows what one does oneself". ([...])
This play does not need some B-side addition like "Archangel", but I suppose the second film was better for sales. I have not yet watched it.