How entertaining? ★★☆☆☆
Thought provoking? ★☆☆☆☆
21 November 2011
This a movie review of RESISTANCE.
“We don’t even know why they’re here,” Sarah (Andrea Riseborough)
RESISTANCE imagines an alternative universe where D-Day has failed and Britain has been invaded by Germany. It is 1944, and the setting is a sleepy Welsh village that becomes occupied by a squad of soldiers led by Captain Albrecht Wolfram (Tom Wlaschiha). Only the women remain, including Sarah (Andrea Riseborough). They await news of their men who left to fight, and now struggle to run the farms by themselves. There is still the wish to repel the trespassers from outside the small community, seen in Michael Sheen’s Atkins and Iwan Rheon’s George. The scarce resources to do so, in particular manpower, and the isolation of the location, demonstrate the futility.
The unfriendly landscape is conveyed well, but unfortunately an interesting premise is not fulfilled by the non-compelling story chosen to be told. The film follows in some mighty shoes, namely Robert Harris’ masterful novel, FATHERLAND, which imagines the lead up to Hitler’s birthday after Germany won the Second World War and forced a truce with Britain and America. There is also the intriguing IT HAPPENED HERE, from 1965, directed by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, looking at the invasion of Britain with the differing responses to it. RESISTANCE lacks the ambition and scope of these two, let alone the impressive allegory of the new incarnation of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – all about the complexities of rebellion. The biggest comparison WENT THE DAY WELL, a movie that imagines a British village under attack during the Second World War, is not favourable either. And that is the problem with this film, it doesn’t seem to be saying something new, nor anything engaging. Having the women go about their business interacting with soldiers not wanting to be there (for various reasons) can only take you so far; plus there is too little characterisation, outside of Sarah and Albrecht, to be able to empathise with anyone. RESISTANCE is like a weekday afternoon TV movie (albeit with a talented cast).