I found this a difficult film to get into, and mostly skirted around the periphery of events without ever being drawn into it. It's mostly about the relationship between the two characters with very little else of the plot adding much to the proceedings.
Whilst the performances are adequate, much of the time Kingsley is talking 'at' Himlar and it gives the film a stage-like experience. The script handles the requirements for a convincing repertoire between our two leads poorly, and its difficult to overlook the glaringly obvious aspect of dialect that has either been overlooked or at least ignored.
Kingsley delivers a half-decent performance, much of it as a monologue in conversation with his maid played by Hera Himlar. Speaking in a Yorkshire accent whilst depicted as a war criminal from the old eastern block, one can only wonder what the producers were thinking. Himlar who plays Tanja the maid, has similarly irksome attributes with accent. Though much else in the film appears genuine, the glaringly obvious omission to attempt any authenticity on the issue of vernacular remains problematic.
For a war criminal in hiding, even for one hailed as a hero by his countrymen Kingsley's character is remarkably blase about his status as a fugitive, and this is superseded only by the casual attitude of the authorities pursuing him. They lurk around corners, watch him at distance and are constantly aware of his whereabouts but never apprehend or make any meaningful attempt to bring him to justice.
The plot is fairly weak and as I've said everything in this film hinges on the interaction between Kingsley and Himlar, which is handled awkwardly. Kingsley's adequate as patriotic commander with psychopathic tenancies lurking beneath a composed articulate exterior, but Himlar's nonchalant portrayal, is somewhat less convincing.
I think the film is average at best. The script simply isn't strong enough to carry off a piece so heavily dependant on dialogue and there is very little emotional attachment between the characters. They never make the connection to each other that's needed to lure you into investing an interest in them, and the result is you just distantly watch the proceedings.
If I had to describe this one with one quick glib remark, it would be 'Meh'. It passed the time but I didn't find it entertaining nor would I recommend it unless your a Kingsley fan.
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