Review: Resistance (2020)

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Resistance (2020)

Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz | 120 minutes | biography, drama | Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Clémence Poésy, Félix Moati, Vica Kerekes, Matthias Schweighöfer, Géza Röhrig, Ed Harris, Bella Ramsey, Martha Issová, Karl Markovics, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Alex Fondja, Aurélie Bancilhon, Alicia von Rittberg, Louise Morell

The Second World War remains a grateful source of inspiration for the entertainment industry. Video games about this inky period in history are doing well and movies about this war are also doing well with the public. In one way or another there always seems to be a new angle or a personal history that has not yet been filmed. ‘Resistance’ revolves around Marcel Mangel. The world knows him by another name: Marcel Marceau.

Marcel Marceau was Mangel’s pseudonym, because he wanted to hide his Jewish background from the occupying forces. As an entertainer, he hoped to distract the German occupier and secretly help the Jewish resistance. For example, Marceau helped Jewish children escape from the clutches of the Nazis by smuggling them across the border. In neutral Switzerland, the children were able to build a new life. Marceau was a renowned mime artist and used his talents to deceive Germans.

Marceau’s story is very interesting and deserves to be told. Unfortunately, the casting was somewhat unfortunate. For this film adaptation the American Jesse Eisenberg was chosen as the mime artist. This actor is characterized by his somewhat uncomfortable appearance and acting. In some roles Eisenberg’s playing comes into its own, but in the role of a heroic resistance player he doesn’t come across well. In the scenes involving pantomime, he makes a good impression, but in the other passages the American comes across as rather contrived.

Eisenberg is not believable in the role, no matter how hard he tries. The German Matthias Schweighöfer, however, gives him nice counterplay as the ruthless Nazi Klaus Barbie. This villain doesn’t trust it and thinks Marceau has something to hide. The cat-and-mouse game between these two, with the pantomime scenes, is the highlight of this film.

‘Resistance’ is a decent film, but with a better casting this film would have made more of an impression. Now you are watching a decent film about a very intense period in history. There had been more residents.

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