Sunday, May 25, 2014

Defiance (2008)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writers: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick, Nechama Tec

Composer: James Newton Howard

Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein, Tomas Arana, Jodhi May, Kate Fahy, Iddo Goldberg, Iben Hjejle, Martin Hancock

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Freedom begins with an act of defiance!

Plot: Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

OK, I liked that there's a good deal of non-English spoken by not just some of the smaller characters but by the leads Craig and Schreiber.  It sounded legit to me but then again I don't speak Russian or whatever.  The only thing I know is "moose and squirrel".  And Craig and Schreiber do a fine job in their roles.  But I couldn't help but feel throughout the entire picture that the real story was far more interesting than what's being shown on the screen.   The film makers probably had a hell of a time trying to keep the audience from being bored of shooting in essentially one location, the forest.  Then there's the Hollywood refugee look.  For folks who lived in the forest for months and years they sure didn't look it.  Everyone looked just right.  The hair, position of the clothing, hats, etc.  It looked like there was someone behind the scenes making sure things were in place...and there was, of course; it's just that we shouldn't think about it.  It's supposed to be invisible. The cliches are all over the place.  Largely, it was OK and just this side of dull.  It was hardly the compelling story it felt like it was trying to be. 

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