The FILM IN WORDS Netflix Film of the Week: helping you navigate the filmic minefield of the nation’s favourite video streaming service.
Words: Brody Rossiter
Depictions of Nazi occupation are often an incredibly grim yet nevertheless deeply interesting image to behold. So often the Nazi’s rise to power is confined to either their corruption of Germany or their military dominance around the globe when it comes to contemporary retellings of their heinous exploits. Therefore, when a film divulges the dark and daily horrors of Nazi rule and its effect on the general populous in a country such as Norway, the experience remains sobering, yet stands out as distinct and necessary.
Documenting the actions of real-life freedom fighters and assassins, Flame (Thure Lindhardt) and Citron (Mads Mikkelsen) during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, Flame and Citron is a riveting period drama that rifles through the countries darkest period with an unparalleled sense of tension and an unflinchingly immersive depiction of the Nordic country in 1944.
Redheaded Gunman Flame purposely strides from the quaint cobbled streets to murky wood-lined interiors, has hand readied upon his pistol, forever prepared to take the life of a Nazi sympathiser whose name has been flagged by British or Dutch intelligence. Meanwhile, Citron waits with his hands readied upon the wheel of a getaway vehicle, his discomfort evident by the perspiration upon his brow and the flask in his pocket. The pair acts as angels of death for their traitorous countrymen, but their reputation grows, and with this newfound infamy comes a price upon their heads, a hefty price indeed.
Emotions of the Norwegian resistance perpetually bubble upon the surface of the deeply layered narrative. The hatred of a country held prisoner and bastardised for the betterment of an evil invader is palpable, evident through the intense glares and twitching trigger fingers of those forced to watch as their heritage is laid to waste. Ultimately the 1940’s world building is Flame and Citron’s greatest asset alongside the fevered performances of its leading men.
Brimming with a deadly sense of intrigue, Ole Christian Madsen’s picture is a beautifully shot historical drama that lingers on the finer details while repeatedly packing a serious punch. It rivals the most steadfast wartime thrillers with a serious sense of style, yet was easily overlooked upon its release in 2008. Luckily the lessons that The Second World War taught us are never superfluous, and Flame and Citron is a brooding example of how even today, they remain potent, enlightening and constantly astounding fables of peril and heroism.