Thursday, 9 March 2017

Dir: Vicente Amorim
Some stage plays can be adapted into film better than others and some stage plays just don't work as films at all. C. P. Taylor's brilliant stage play is an example of just that. There are certain scenes within the film that are just so awkward, disjointed and unusual that you just know they would have been amazing moments in the theatre, just not on the big screen. The external shots never match the style of the internal shots, outside it’s a big feature film, inside it's a low-budget TV drama. The aim of the play was to show that the rise of National Socialism in Nazi Germany should not just be regarded as a conspiracy of evil and madmen but millions of "good" people found themselves in a society spiraling into terrible chaos. It is supposed to illuminate the terrors of now but utterly fails through a complete lack of conviction. It fails to capture the "good" people’s naivety in a respectful manner, it is right in what it suggests but you wouldn't know it after watching this film. It doesn't really take consideration of what we now know in retrospect, it drip feeds facts in the most contemptible fashion it is, at times, difficult to watch. Only Jason Issac can be proud of his performance, Viggo Mortensen has little to really get his teeth into but does okay, at least until the shockingly poor anti-climactic final scene and Jodie Whittaker's character was lazily written. I'm still yet to see a performance by Steven Mackintosh that justifies his acting career. There is no attention to detail, the flow of the story is far to jagged and as I've already mentioned, the last scene is astonishingly bad. The title of the stage play makes sense, we understand where the 'good' is but this is never clear in the film. If anything, the title should have been 'Naive' or 'See, I told you so, thanks for nothing buddy' or simply 'Doh!’ An important story and a valuable lesson, squandered through lack of thought and a disregard for respect.

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