With the Third Reich is at his peak in 1942, the Czech resistance in London plans the most ambitious military operation of WWII – Anthropoid. Two young recruits are sent to Prague to assassinate the most ruthless Nazi leader – Reinhardt Heydrich – head of the SS, the Gestapo and the architect of the Final Solution.
The movie is surprisingly subdued in its pacing, its characterizations, and its go-for-broke sensibilities.
... View More
One of the worst ways to make a cult movie is to set out to make a cult movie.
... View More
Saw 'The Man with the Iron Heart' as somebody fascinated by the subject it covers, and by the man who really did have an iron heart and earned the ire of even Hitler himself. Also really like a lot of biopics and there are a few talented names. 'The Man with the Iron Heart' is a brave attempt at telling this story, but it is also agreed frustratingly uneven and disjointed. The general consensus is that the first half is better than the second half, personally found that the case too after viewing it. It is far from a terrible film, there are a number of strengths here, but it could have been so much more. And is what is meant by that it is frustrating that 'The Man with the Iron Heart' is uneven is that the flaws of the second half could easily have been avoided. Starting with the strengths, much of the film looks great visually. There is a real feeling of evocative authenticity, with attractive costumes that captured the era well, elegant interiors and very atmospherically grim landscapes. The music is suitably haunting and the direction fares strongest in the first half and the harrowing scenes that are uncompromisingly powerful.First half is very interesting and compelling, with some very thought-provoking writing. When the film focuses on Heydrich, his motives and his family life, it is where it most excels, being very engrossing, emotional and intense, actually also taking time to show what happens and being structured in a way that makes sense. Even if there could have been even more meat to what was told.Although 'The Man with the Iron Heart' is a problematic film, the blame does not lie with the cast which is actually the main saving grace. Rosamund Pike especially is excellent as Lina (am really liking where her career is going), while Jason Clarke portrays Heydrich's iron heart, lack of compassion and coldness adeptly. Mia Wasikowska gives one of her better performances to date here and is one of the main reasons to stick with the second half. It is really unfortunate that the second half is nowhere near as good. The inferior quality and the shift in focus gives a really disjointed feel and like the two halves were two films in one. The focus on those who tried to assassinate Heydrich is nowhere near as illuminating or compelling, just didn't find myself involved or engaged by it. The characters are sketchily written, the opposite to Heydrich and Lina who did have intriguing character development if still not quite enough. Furthermore there is no tension and what is covered is rushed through with no attention to depth or sense, the odd almost incomplete-feeling structure and some strangely amateurish filming (which wasn't as apparent in the first half) also confusing it. The flashforward was not needed at all, further diluting any suspense by explicitly revealing what happened. Although Heydrich is still interesting, the film did miss an opportunity in properly fleshing him out due to not focusing on him enough. Overall, interesting, well acted and (mostly) made and brave but disjointed, uneven and rushed. 6/10 Bethany Cox
... View More
Harm ten Napel
While the story of the assassination of Heydrich in Prague during World War II has been told in other movies up to the point that it invokes a sense of déjà vu this installment can be praised alone for it's grand opening scene with the solemn organ music. This movie sets itself apart from the rest by also showing it from the perspective of the German side and Heydrich' s wife played brilliantly by Rosamund Pike whose beauty you may admire all the same as you will loathe her beliefs. The atmosphere of an occupied city, as far as you can gauge from a free perspective seems authentic. The ruthlessness of Heydrich and the whole Nazi war machine should serve as a reminder of what will be the ultimate consequence of intolerance and blatant racism. The story will always remain captivating for its combination of heroism and tragedy, romance, heartbreak and betrayal even if we suspect that the romance has been emphasized for dramatic purposes. As far as historic accuracy can be trusted we learn that Heydrich's rise in the SS followed a disgraceful discharge from the German navy, together with some scene involving an officer of the Wehrmacht it supports the irritating idea that it was only the Nazi's and the SS that were the true fiends as if not the whole of Germany stood with their arms stretched. Nevertheless I enjoyed this movie quite much for it's raw approach to life and war, if you get to choose a version of the story told so often, this is a good one.
... View More
I guess I would give this movie 7.5 out of 10. That is subject to a few conditions. First, I like historical drama and I was very disappointed with the movie Anthropoid, which was on the same topic. Second, ther's a slight flaw in the way the movies is divided into two halves. for a while you aren't sure what's happening and not in a good way. What I liked about his that I did not like about Anthropoid? In Anthropoid, i felt little connection to the characters and in this movie, there was an emotional component, even giving some insight into how H himself might have been. I loved that they included the perspective of his wife.I love that they show her giving birth alone while he coldly works. That shows some of the personal cost that is involved in being a mindless killing machine. When the movie transitions form the Heinrich family to the Czech resistance, I love the cinematography, but i would have liked a tiny bit of context. If you know the story, you figure it out one enough, but if you don't know, its disorienting. Another reviewer here complained about the lack of moral context, that is, why these characters fought to hard to do this and what did they achieve. Its true that that is understated, but I like it. They mention it in passing as they debate shutting down the operation. And its implied in the sadness of the end. It was a real sacrifice. maybe an un-thanked sacrifice, maybe a symbolic one. It didn't stop the war and it led to retaliations and suffering. The benefits were not discussed, but as they suggested, it showed the world that there was resistance, that the Nazis were not invincible.
... View More
"HHhH" ("The Man with the Iron Heart") is a decent historical war drama. It scores high marks for authenticity regarding locations, costumes, mores and props; however, with the exception of a few bare breasts, feels like a television movie. Although several thousand people are brutally murdered, the violence feels antiseptic, with a few spurts of blood and red stains on costumes, but no sense of either physical or emotional trauma. The nearly universal use of jiggly-cam shots serves as a constant distracting reminder that somebody is holding a camera, preventing the audience from ever fully suspending disbelief. Performances are good, but seem repressed, even when Reinhard tears up a room in frustration. At the end, the viewer is left wondering what it all means. Tremendous risks were taken, resulting in terrible consequences. The filmmakers offer no interpretation or moral and insufficient perspective for the audience to make their own judgment.