Anthropoid (2016)

  • Time: 120 min
  • Genre: Biography | History | Thriller
  • Director: Sean Ellis
  • Cast: Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones


Anthropoid is based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the World War II mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich. The Reich’s third in command after Hitler and Himmler, Heydrich was the main architect behind the Final Solution and the leader of occupying Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia whose reign of terror prompted self-exiled Czech and Slovak soldiers (Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan) to hatch a top-secret mission that would change the face of Europe forever.

One comment

  • Anthropoid, is defined as resembling a human being in form. This movie is all about who resembles a human being and who doesn’t. Obviously, the Nazis are on the not human side but, even if they’re doing good, what about the allies when their actions cause thousands of senseless deaths for no other reason than revenge? This is one of the larger problems that is never resolved because it is not resolvable in this movie. Anthropoid is not looking for an easy way out. This movie does not glorify war by having a happy ending or rousing music or saving the right people. It is bleak and honest.
    Sean Ellis and Anthony Frewin have written a script that takes it all into account. This includes the down time when they just have to hide. They have not tried to pretty up the war to make it more palatable. And the ending involves behavior the army may not want you to know about. As the director Ellis has kept everything low key. The locations could have been shot for how lovely they were but the colors and vistas are down played with muted colors and more urban street than the mountains behind the city. I can’t help but think Ellis’s vision was the driving force in this movie as every element of the movie is consistent. The one thing that bothered me was the boredom. Yes, war is not just battles, battles, battles. There is a whole lot of waiting, but I would have liked to have had to sit through a little less of it. True, I’m watching a movie and not fighting a battle but reality can’t be put on film because most of the time nothing would happen. I would have preferred more film technique and less reality. The movie runs two hours. Fifteen minutes could have been cut without changing anything.
    Jamie Dornan plays Jan, a Slovak soldier who parachutes into the outskirts of Prague. His partner is Josef played by Cillian Murphy. They have a specific job to do but no idea how to do it. Toby Jones plays Uncle Hajsky, their contact in the underground. There are a number of Czech actors, among them Anna Geislerova as Lenka, Alena Mihulova who plays Mrs. Moravec and Jiri Simek as Karel Curda. I have said it before, if something is bad you can point out every flaw but if it’s really good how many times can you say it’s really good. Anthropoid is one of those movies. You couldn’t have had better performances. The emotional shifts that have to be made by most of the characters are honest and believable. They are all good.
    I give this movie 4 ½ plans out of 5. The only weakness is the slowness in the beginning so don’t let that bother you. This is another movie that had better be up for awards when the time comes.

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