10 December 2017 | Internist
Miscast, inaccurate, and disappointing
Having read and loved Laurent Binet's superb HHhH, I've been eagerly awaiting this film. Alas, it was hardly worth the wait. The earlier released Anthropoid was a far superior adaptation (or was, at least, a better depiction of the events of Heydrich's assassination).
Other reviewers here have done a nice job detailing the problems this film has as a 'film' so I will only mention two more. Most importantly, Jason Clarke is simply not 'pretty' enough to play Heydrich. Indeed, part of history's fascination with Heydrich is because, physically, he was the perfect Aryan: blonde, tall, sculpted if not chiselled physiognomy, etc. Other than his blonde hair, Clarke's marked and jowled features are completely dissimilar to Heydrich's and served only to distract. Clarke's miscasting is only slightly more jarring than the use of Stephen Graham to play Himmler. Unable or unwilling to project Himmler's menace, Graham comes across more avuncular than sinister. No one would cower in the presence of Graham's pudgy Himmler.
I was also disappointed by the movie's many historical inaccuracies and omissions. Einsatzgruppen executions are shown repeatedly as being by a bullet to the torso, whereas a shot in the nape of the neck was their trademark. The boy being tortured is shown to be around 10-years-old when he fact the real 'boy' was actually a mature 17 years, already engaged to be married. Likewise what got him to talk was having his mother's head placed in his lap (others say it was placed in a fish bowel) but not by having to watch the torture of someone else as is depicted here. And, where was Hitler at Heydrich's funeral? For some reason the writer's chose to pretend he didn't attend, but of course he attended and delivered an inflammatory eulogy while he was there. There are many more such errors. Admittedly these are small details but their cumulative effect was to take me out of the film. They also made me wonder what other, perhaps more important facts the movie had botched.