Dearest Blog: By now I'm sure everyone's familiar with that big-budget bore of a World War II flick that's gracing US cinemas this week, but what you may not know is there's also a really good World War II flick right at your fingertips via On Demand, digital download, and DVD. I give you: Anthropoid.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers if you saw one (which I didn't).
Anthropoid is the true story of a World War II mission to assasinate Hitler's third in command, Reinhard Heydrich.
Two WWII movies in a span of three days probably seems like a true test of endurance, and, if not for Cillian Murphy, I admit this one might have passed me right on by. I'm very glad it didn't.
While Hacksaw Ridge dwells on gunfights, explosions, and the gore of war, Anthropoid is a quiet exercise in strategy all the way to its final act; only then are we thrown into the bloody firestorm, and by then we're so invested in every character that it is utterly devastating. Cillian Murphy (the surly one) and Jamie Dornan (the dreamy one) are outstanding as the leaders of the dangerous mission. Murphy is never less, but if you only know Dornan from his unfortunate 50 Shades fame, be prepared to be surprised.
Supporting players include the terrific Harry Lloyd, and the always-reliable Toby Jones. Anthropoid takes its time getting to the actual assasination attempt, maintaining tension throughout as the rebels make their plans and attempt to avoid discovery.
Fear is so palpable as to be almost another character in a film that feels very intimate and personal, in much the same way as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Anthropoid clocks in at a deliberate 120 minutes and is rated R for "violence and some disturbing images."
It may not be loud or flashy enough to have earned wide release in the USA, but Anthropoid is a thoughtful World War II picture that's well worth your time.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Anthropoid gets six and a half.
Until next time...