Tuesday, August 4, 2020

#2,512. The Captain (2017)





Written and directed by Robert Schwentke, 2017’s The Captain is a Black and White German film set during the final weeks of World War II. 

While trying to escape the authorities, a German army deserter, Willi Herold (played to perfection by Max Hubacher), stumbles upon an abandoned vehicle containing a Nazi captain's uniform. 

Initially, Herold puts on the uniform to hide from his pursuers, but it isn’t long before he starts acting the part, assembling a band of thieves as his own personal army and ordering them to accompany him to a nearby prisoner camp. Claiming he has direct authority from Hitler himself, Herold seizes control of the camp, inflicting harsh punishment on the German soldiers held there, all of whom (like Herold himself) have been accused of desertion. 

Expertly crafted by director Schwentke, The Captain is a brooding, often brutal motion picture about the corruptible influence of power (Herold not only joins the ranks of those who were after him, but becomes the very man he himself had feared the most). Yet what is most disturbing about this 2017 film isn’t the violence (which is plentiful), but the fact that it is based on the true story of a man history has dubbed the Executioner of Emsland! 

Hard-hitting and unflinching in its approach, The Captain features moments every bit as shocking as those Spielberg gave us in Schindler’s List. Believe me when I tell you this is a film you won’t soon forget. 
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 (Watch it now!)






Saturday, August 1, 2020

#2,511. Blinded by the Light (2019)




Now here’s a little gem from 2019 that took me by surprise! 

Based on a true story and set in 1987, Blinded By the Light whisks us to Luton, England, where Javed (Viveik Kalra), a Pakistani teen, changes his entire outlook on life after discovering the music of Bruce Springsteen. Not only do the Boss’s lyrics help him find the courage to stand up to his father (Kulvinder Ghir), a stubborn traditionalist, but Javed also learns how to deal with the racism and bigotry he and his family face on an almost daily basis. 

Kalra is strong in the lead role, and watching his character transform from a shy introvert into a confident young man will surely bring a smile to your face. But it’s the musical numbers, set to the rock ballads of The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, that make Blinded By The Light such a life-affirming experience (the Born to Run scene, where Javed and his friend Roops, played by Aaron Phagura, invade their high school’s radio station now ranks right up there with the street dance in 1980’s Fame as one of my all-time favorite musical sequences). 

Directed with plenty of style - and a lot of heart - by Gurinder Chadha, Blinded By The Light is a coming-of-age tale you won’t want to miss. Highly recommended! 
Rating: 9 out of 10 (watch it more than once)