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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Operation Finale"

During WWII, there were countries that actually harbored Nazi criminals. After seeing what happened in the holocaust, it bewilders me how certain governments would protect individuals who committed horrible crimes against humanity as if to “just look the other way”. Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) explores this in the based-on-a-true-story “Operation Finale”.

With a cast that includes Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Bastards), Lior Raz (Fauda), Nick Kroll (The League), Michael Aronov (The Drop), Ohad Knoller (Munich), Joe Alwyn (Mary, Queen of Scots), Greta Scacchi (Emma), Peter Strauss (Masada), and Haley Lu Richardson (Split, Columbus), it is 1960, and the Mossad, an intelligence service from Israel, gets a tip that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann (Kingsely) is living in Argentina. A team from Israel lead by Peter Malkin (Isaac), tries to capture and smuggle him back to Israel to stand trial while dealing with the locals in Argentina, which at the time had very anti-Semitic attitudes.

This film is very historically accurate, truly capturing 1960s Argentina well combined with a very unique film style that made me feel like I was watching a film from that time. Kingsley and Isaac do well with great chemistry, especially shown in how Isaac’s character does not want to build any bond with the character that Kingsley plays. There are also a lot of great supporting roles like Laurent, Kroll, and Alwyn, and I would not be surprised if some of the cast’s names were attached to nominations in a few months.

At about two hours long, the plot kept me interested with visuals that went along with the surveillance, capture, and transporting Eichmann back to Israel. My big complaint would be that they spent too much time with the nine days Eichmann was being held at the “safe house” waiting to get Eichmann to sign an extradition order and not enough time in getting him out of the country and the arrival in Israel. There was some flashbacking to crimes Eichmann committed during the war, which I would have liked to have seen more of as well. Don’t get me wrong: “Operation Finale” is good, but there just seemed to be some pacing issues. Given all of this, I will still recommend this film as a matinee showing in the theaters.

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