An Anthropoid is “a higher form of life”; for some this is species, for others this is a god, in this case it is Hitler’s officer Reinhard Heydrich. Based around the true story this is an almost too detailed account of 2 Czech paratroopers and the effect their actions had.
As the name suggests Anthropoid is definitely a heavy and lengthy film, but also an emotional one following the lives of two men sent to kill Reinhard Heydrich. Without a plan or much of a chance they spend their months watching and working out how they will complete what turned out to be one of the highest ranked kills in the second world ward. Once shots are fired and they are left to find their own way out they.
I always believe a story that is made into a film will either be very emotional or nothing at all, and this is in no way the latter. I am not saying it will be for everyone but for those who are happy to watch something with more substance than just the plot this is for you. When things don’t work out as they planned, and spoiler alert they don’t, this film is highly upsetting. But to know that what you just watched wasn’t the confabulation of someone’s mind makes it traumatic. Interestingly this is a wild card compared to director Sean Ellis’ previous work but his style and choice of shots make it a stunning piece or artwork.
A lot of the power of this film comes from those directly on screen and no one in this feature disappoints. The two Czech paratroopers are played by Cillian Murphy (Batman Dark Knight Rises 2008) and Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Grey 2014), we have watched both men torcher others for our own pleasure and now we watch them struggle with the reality of 1942. Although I would never have personally picked either for these roles, I would not be able to think of anyone better. Their female counterparts Marie and Lenka played by Charlotte Le Bon (Bastille Day 2016) and Anna Geislerová (Fair Play 2014). Both of these own the screen from the moment they first walk through the door until they are just a memory.
Saying all of that, as one of those people who look for any and all slip-ups, I will say now I am sure there is quite a doozy which should have been picked up in post. Lighting a cigarette can be a challenge and having a Zippo can get in the way. So if you are going to use a clipper or equivalent make sure it’s out of shot!
For anyone who does hold an even slightly Romantic view of war: weather that be through watching films or playing a game that claims it is based around any form of combat, I highly recommend you watch this. It is a deeply moving film and wont be taken lightly. It has an incredible mix of cinematography, amazing actors and devastating story. If Anthropoid does not receive any nominations at least I be amazed.
ANTHROPOID will be released in cinemas on 9 September 2016
Lacking in compelling characters, but the story is interesting enough to work. Nice review.