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I May Destroy You
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Pretty good World War II thriller, but curiously flat in some places. The plot could have been a little more coherent.
Well made, but hard to get through.
That was quite an experience! Flammen & Citronen stars Mads Mikkelsen and Thure Lindhardt as Danish assassins in 1944 who are being assigned targets to assassinate, but things get complicated when they found out there's a traitor among their order and they've been killing people who they thought were someone else. I won't go deeper into the story as there are many plot twists and shocking reveals along the way and it would be a shame if I spoiled you. I never heard of these two people before watching the movie, so everything that happened was new to me. The acting is fantastic! Mads and Thure are amazing as the assassins. And everyone else did a great job, but these two guys stand out. The characters are also very well developed and intriguing. As I said, there're many shocking reveals and you will find yourself, many times during the movie, doubting what some of the characters are saying. The whole movie has a very 'noir' feel to it. It feels like a gangster/mafia movie in time of World War II, which is good, not bad. What did bother me a bit was the length of the movie. The movie feels too long for the story it's trying to tell, but the shocking ending is well worth the time spent. All in all, a fantastic war drama with great acting and characters, intriguing story and an epic finale, albeit too long. I would highly recommend checking this movie out.
Flame & Citron is a Danish drama detailing the true story of the Danish resistance during World War II. Its themes really deal with how war cannot only destroy lives but that also it can create monsters from seemingly well meaning people and that has a direct affect on one's views and on their family too. Flame & Citron is all about real life resistance members Flame and Citron or better known as Bent (Flame) and Jørgen (Citron) who together carried out assassinations on Nazi's in Denmark and through doing so created quite a notorious reputation and also a hefty bounty on their heads. The film weaves nicely through the story and never lets go or slows down so much you get bored, it is however pretty long and parts can feel a little dull but altogether the movie is a good one.
Mads Mikkelsen stands out from the cast to a wider audience outside Denmark and the well known "sweaty" actor plays Jørgen, a man torn between doing what he see's is right but also trying to feed his wife and daughter of which he is becoming increasingly distant from. We then have Thure Lindhart as Bent who is just as committed to the cause as Jørgen, although the man is definitely more ruthless and can kill much easier. Both actors do a fine job but for me it is Lindhart who stands out, he seems confident in his role and really takes it upon himself well mixing that ruthless side with a more emotional side too.
Ole Christian Madsen is the director on this film and he does a pretty neat job, he manages to make this powerful but not so much that you feel this is just begging for awards, Madsen makes this feel gritty but also thrilling when it wants to be. The script can be a little shaky in parts where really the acting can suffer, I didn't care too much for any of the off shoots this story develops where the resistance storyline is put on hold for a little while. One unnecessary off shoot is really the whole plot surrounding Bent and Ketty Selmer (Stine Stengade), a lady whose mysterious arrival in a bar frequented by Bent and associates is seen as suspicious from Bent's point of view.
The movie is maybe not for all I mean this is not exactly a movie that is going to give you roses, it stays dark throughout but that is really what makes this stand out more. The pace of the movie is nicely done too mixing fast scenes where maybe a killing is done with scenes of true dramatic dialogue that is important to understanding the plot. A scene which for me really stands out is one with Bent and a German officer he pays a visit to, the scene is full of smart dialogue between the two and some things said are very nicely written and this scene is one that makes up just a little for the script I talked about a little before.
So overall Flame & Citron is a movie I would recommend, for those who maybe want a lot of action then maybe give this a miss but it can't be said this lacks in exciting and thrilling scenes. This is a big film for Danish cinema, a film industry very much not looked at much from a worldwide point of view, but Flame & Citron manages to make not only a movie that is a good little piece of work and shows off Danish cinema, but it also shows us the history of the country in WW2, and what problems they had that drove them to resist.
Unique in that as far as I could tell the heroes may or may not have killed the right people even once the whole film (until the end).
One of the finest films about Nazi resistance and the sorrow of war from any country. The acting is superb, the writing is magnificent and the cinematography is gorgeous. A favorite.
Best of the resistance movies I have come to see, standing far above Army of Crime, Winter in Wartime, Soldier of Orange, or Defiance. It may not be as true to the life of rebels as Army of Crime, but it is far more exciting, with better characters and overall better done. It is brilliantly scripted, the acting is great, it looks and feels real and in the time, and has great action moments. How they operate under the authority of the British government and the disputes they have with their leaders, is interesting as it's something none of the other movies have, and eventually they go by their own rules and pick they own targets. How their leader who is also the police chief of the town uses them to kill off his past connections with the nazis is something different too, and although in other movies this would maybe but a unwanted twist or clichÃ (C), in this environment it works out without problem. Also a bit of a love story works as a backstory due to the location and setting, so that is also a welcome addition. There was a surprising amount of executions and deaths involved, something I knew would happen but this is above the level that I expected. It's all well done, realistic and makes for a more exciting watch, and the last battle where Citron made his last stand was surprisingly well done. Overall the ending was great, sad, and didn't glorify the resistance as great heros, just men who lost all they had in trying to rid their country of their unwanted and inhuman captors. Overall a great movie, although nobody really likes to real subtitles, this movie is worth it, and one above maybe two other major foreign language movies that I really do not bother to watch again at any given time, the others being Downfall, and The Brotherhood of War.
top 5 all time...the real version of inglorious basterds
Strong cast, cinematic, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.
Fascinating look into the resistance in Scandinavia. Twists of mystery - who's good - who's bad. Based on true events!