Releaed in 2008.
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe and Derek Jacobi.
IMDB gives it 6.2/10
“In the aftermath of World War II, a former circus entertainer who was spared from the gas chamber becomes the ringleader at an asylum for Holocaust survivors.”
Perhaps not the most detailed account of the second world war this movie decides to focus on Adam, a somewhat unique former circus entertainer with a knack for making Nazis laugh. What we have is a unique movie with some dramatic acting and disturbing concepts.
Adam is living in an asylum in the idle of the desert following the end of the second world war. He has a charismatic way of acting and Goldblum did a decent job with the psychiatric symptoms. Symptoms which can be classed as a severe form of traumatic stress.
Adam was forced to act as an animal in a concentration camp, leaving him scarred. All the more harrowing is his connection with the nurse, a somewhat sexual deviance reminiscent of his days gallivanting about a stage with women. He is keen to get better, and so too are his doctors wanting this. However, he soon discovers another inpatient who is in a worse condition that he is.
A type of spiritual dramatic movie, Adams personal journey through mentally unwell to a released and normal person is warming, and is quite good to see.
Willem Dafoe doesn’t make much of an appearance but when he does he’s playing the bad guy, which isn’t unusual for him. He’s a harrowing Nazi who abused Adam. Perhaps the directors and writers were themselves confused as to how to use his character. He wasn’t going to play a very big physical but instead emotional role in Adam’s recovery.
It’s a little bit of a hidden gem, but it also certainly no Schindlers List. If you want an uncomfortable movie to watch this is it. Not least down to the acting. I felt like Adam was a bit too flamboyant. There’s little wrong with the set design. It is fairly grim as one would expect and lighting and camera angles were good. Unlike other movies which tend to flick back and forth several times a minute.
I can’t bring myself to rate it more than 7/10 but I do feel it is worth a watch.
Overall verdict: 7/10