The Nazis, the Germans, the Holocaust and the atrocities against the Jews have not been forgotten yet. But at least three generations have only that information which is present in History text books – basically, a cut and dried version of what really made Hitler such a monster.
Today, the Holocaust has become pop culture phenomenon, with games, adventure films and whatnot being made using that concept. There are a few films that really try to bring out the seriousness of the atrocities – like The Trials of Nuremburg (still a jaw-dropper). Adding to this list is Operation Finale, the Chris Weitz directorial that star Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi who was captured and hanged in the 60s.
The film starts with the Russian Mossad finding out the whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann because of a romantic liaison between two young people. The Mossad decides to hunt down Eichmann, and the rest of the film is about the trials and tribulations that the rag-tag team had to go through.
Because the film is an account of a true incident, there’s not much up for criticism, at least in the screenplay and script division. Matthew Orton decides to give a bareboned version of the incident, putting in only the highlights. Because of this, the audience doesn’t really get a chance to connect with the protagonist or the antagonist – or the secondary characters.
However, Operation Finale doesn’t shy away from showing the fact that the Nazis – whoever they were – haven’t yet understood the magnitude of what they did to just the Jews but humanity in general. Ben Kingsley, as Eichmann, repeatedly says that he will not be the thumbnail for the entire Nazi population. Just by saying that, Eichmann is, and the way Ben plays him is incredible.
Eichmann’s character tilts from being the man in command, to a victim of injustice and finally, to a victim of circumstance. This is where the audience’s understanding of the character is tested. For people who know what the Holocaust was all about, every time Eichmann rants against the mild irritations meted out to him, audiences would find themselves just about refraining of asking whether the real Eichmann ever thought about not just the irritations but the atrocities that he meted out.
What’s Wow: Operation Finale is a fine telling of a secret mission that brought down one of the most wanted criminals in the world. The performances are good, and the laser fast script and screenplay make it for an intriguing watch.
Operation Finale has just one haunting scene that shows the kind of emotion that drew the Nazis, and that’s about enough.
What’s Blah: While Operation Finale doesn’t shy away from the story, it does shy away from giving out more information about what really happened to the Jews. For that, The Nuremberg Trials is still the best watch.
Parting Shot: Operation Finale does a good job of revealing the Nazis and their final fate.
Cast and Crew
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson
Directed by: Chris Weitz
Produced by: Fred Berger, Oscar Isaac
Written by: Matthew Orton
Operation Finale is now streaming on Netflix