Mar 23, 2009

Review: Defiance

After two mammoth hits in Last Samurai n Blood Diamond, director Edward Zwick is back with a war epic titled "Defiance" starring the new bond, Daniel Craig. The movie is about the Jewish Bielski brothers Tuvia (Craig), Zus, Asael n Aron who flee to the shuddery forest vowing to avenge their parent's death in the hands of Germans. During holocaust, the Jews were exploited by the Germans and what happened in Poland was no different. Though initially, the brothers decide to help as many Jews as possible by taking leadership in organising refugee camps, Zus gradually begin to dislike this idea knowing that winter was fast approaching n it will only endanger their own lives by helping others. He involves in a spat with Tuvia and leaves the camp to join a Soviet Partisans group who inturn fight against the Germans.

Tuvia though choose to stay in the camp with the other jews. They move their camp whenever they are discovered by the Germans and used to supply food to the Soviet Partisans group in exchange of protection. In the end when the German airbombers attack the Jewish camp, the Soviet group abandon them thereby earning rage from Zus who inturn goes and helps his brother. The movie ends with scrren text saying, the Jews survived for another 2 years under the serene leadership of Bielski brothers with a total of 1200 souls.

This is one of those films u desperately want to like from the word go because of it's background n clichy sets. But after a spellbinding 45 mins, the film settles to a slackened pace thereby losing momentum. Daniel Craig is a revelation to say the least. The best scene in the movie is when Craig commands to his fellow descendants "And listen, pregnancies are forbidden! We can't take care of the needs of infants" with a slight grin on his face, he hits the bullseye. Also the standout scene where he gets involved in a brawl with his brother. The confrontation scenes are picturised with ounces of reality check. Since this is a true story, there's not much to comment about it's credibility apart from the fact that Jews speak to themselves in English rather than Polish. Infact, Polish is never mouthed in a movie set in Poland :) (Zus speaks in Russian to the Soviet group) The second 30 mins is a torture where screenplay goes haywire, the director too unsure of "what next". Cinematography is excellent, so is the background score.

A film not for the mass, Defiance is bold but not very beautiful.

Verdict: Hot not hottest

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