A taut, well paced, well acted portrayal of a meeting in Berlin that changed the world. A brisk 90 minutes it contains drama, cold calculating solutions, evil men with a few less evil men and a business like approach to mass murder. It is hard to believe that human beings could construct this. A chilling yet highly entertaining film. Don't miss it.
A "bottle movie," Conspiracy is a tense and compelling drama. The primary point of the film is made in silence; there are several beats in which a character says something morally objectionable, and the camera cuts to reaction shots of the whole group, who remain silent. It's like the filmmaker is saying, "Isn't it amazing that no one is speaking up now?" The film is Martin Niemöller's "Nobody was left to speak for me" poem in dramatic form.
Kenneth Brannagh, Colin Firth, and Stanley Tucci each give strong performances, Brannagh and Tucci exhibiting dogged efficiency and competence.
Overall, Conspiracy is a short but haunting exploration of the beginning of the Holocaust.
Branagh carries the film with his cool, disciplined, and semi-diplomatic demeanor. He must keep things going, allowing dissent, but then crushing it firmly yet with tact, for the great leader must get his way, no deviations. Here is a group of men meeting to discuss the "Jewish problem," a problem similar to what was discussed in the states regarding the "Indian problem," with a similar solution; sadly, the American solution to the Indian problem was the impetus for Hitler's answer to the Jewish problem.
Ultimately, because the States had joined the war and resources were waning, the Germans needed a fast, inexpensive, simple solution: the gas chamber. With the SS at the helm, guided by Gen. Reinhard Heydrich, why those at the meeting were allowed to speak at all is questionable, for in the end all were asked to swear allegiance to the plan, the final solution that had actually already begun.
The film only runs 96 minutes, but I couldn't take my eyes and ears off it. It was like driving by the most fascinating car accident you never wanted to look at, but do anyway, overlooking the morbid to the critical warning to all humankind underneath.