Wednesday, August 29, 2018

early movie review

Finding myself at loose ends at the end of the afternoon quite near a theater that was the only one showing a movie being released today that I had some interest in, I decided to go see it.

Operation Finale (2018)

The immediately preceding trailer was for the re-release of Schindler's List, in which Ben Kingsley plays the Jewish clerk who helps Schindler compile the list. In this movie, Ben Kingsley plays Adolf Eichmann. It's a change.

This is a movie about the Israeli operation to abduct Eichmann in Buenos Aires in 1960. Oscar Isaac plays the impossibly noble chief Israeli agent, a composite character. I didn't know much about the details of the operation, and after seeing the movie I still doubt that I do. The abduction itself occurs about halfway through; the agents then have to hide Eichmann in a safe house for over a week because of some bureaucratic snafu regarding scheduling the departure of their airplane (which is on a cover mission).

I don't know if this happened in reality or not. According to Wikipedia the delay in transporting Eichmann was spent confirming his identity. In the movie Eichmann steadfastly denies being Eichmann until he suddenly caves and admits it, and this doesn't have much to do with the delay. Also in the movie, but perhaps not in reality, the Israelis twice narrowly escape being captured by a posse of Argentine police who are after them. And as I watched those scenes, what was inevitably running through my head was this.

Kingsley speaks in something of the same odd sing-songy accent he used for the role of Dmitri Shostakovich in Testimony.

Conclusion: Not as boring as Bridge of Spies, but not as exciting as an undercover spy movie ought to be, either.

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