Here at NWD we’ve been anticipating the release of the Sean Ellis directed WWII Drama Anthropoid for quite some time. So, needless to say, when seeing the film for the first time, expectations were high. However, we can honestly say we were not disappointed.
The story follows two Czech soldiers, who are given a mission by the British government, to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler’s number 3, and the architect behind the plot to exterminate all Jews. The two are parachuted into their homeland of Czechoslovakia, and stay with a Czech family whilst hiding out.
The first half of the film is a bit of a slow burner, but you really feel and experience the on-the-edge-of-your-seat during an ambush scene, which is shot fantastically well. The team agreed it was the most nail biting scenes we’ve seen all year.
The attack is carried out, but not in the way the two men had hoped. Eventually, they hide out in a holy place in Prague but are turned in by their friend.
The final 45 minutes of the film are tense, dark, and leave you leaving the cinema speechless, wondering how these events could have actually took place. In fact, dark is an understatement. The film does an excellent job at bringing home the realism and the truly horrific nature surrounding these events.
Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan showcased and performed fantastically. Murphy shines within is character as the loose canon of the two men, who helps Dornan’s character overcome a medical condition, knowledge he later passes on.
Overall, this isn’t a film we’d watch again a hurry, and we mean this in a positive way. It gets so dark and harrowing that we’d recommend some time in between a second viewing. But this just shows us just how good Sean Ellis is a storyteller, a point we believe when you see this film you will wholeheartedly agree.