Rogue One co-writer Chris Weitz directed a movie about one of the most shocking events in history in 2018’s Operation Finale. The movie tells the story of the capture of one of the notorious Nazi escapees who was captured by Mossad in a daring mission in South America.
In 1960s Buenos Aires, Argentina Sylvia Hermann (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating Klaus Eichmann (Joe Alwyn), who she discovers is a member of a group of Nazi supporters. Her father Lothar (Peter Strauss) reports his suspicions that Klaus’ uncle is, in fact, Nazi officer Otto Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley). Israeli intelligence service Mossad gathers a team of trained spies and Nazi hunters including Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) to identify and capture Eichmann in order to return to Israel to be tried for war crimes committed during the Holocaust.
This film is one of the best films I have seen in regards to Nazi hunting. It does not make it heroic in the sense it glorifies the actual hunting but shows the heroic deed as it is: a very human mission. Each member of the team sent to Argentina is a human who has dark memories of a Nazi-controlled Germany and that effects each of them emotionally and psychologically.
Weitz gambled a bit with how he portrayed Eichmann. Instead of showing him as a cold, calculating monster, he humanizes him. However, he does not make excuses for him. Instead, we see the horrible and egregious acts he committed against the Jewish people for an evil ideology. That is the genius of Kingsley portrayal, who performed it incredibly well.
Likewise, Isaacs plays Agent Malkin incredibly well. He is a man who lost his sister in World War 2 at the hands of Eichmann. He wants nothing but vengeance but instead chooses justice so that all of Eichmann’s victims can have a day in court. While an imperfect man, he is a noble man.
My one critique is one of the main characters seems to disappear after the plot gets going. Sylvia and her father, who are the people who started the plot, is disregarded. Though it is implied Sylvia escaped the Nazi sympathizers, we do not get a glimpse of her or her father’s future. After some research, I did find out through research they received awards from Israel for their role in the operation.
The film did not hold back on its criticism of Argentina. Though the Nazi sympathizers are portrayed as the main antagonists, the Argentian government is shown complicit in hiding Nazis and corrupt in trying to prevent the Israelis from capturing and arresting them.
Bottom line, while an imperfect film, it handles its very delicate subject matter with reverence. It takes risks in portraying evil and it pays off incredibly. I was hooked to the story from the beginning and was enthralled until the end.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Violence, Disturbing images
FAVORITE QUOTE: Our memory reaches back through recorded history. The book of memory still lies open. And you here now are the hand that holds the pen. If you succeed, for the first time in our history we will judge our executioner. And we will warn off any who wishes to follow his example. If you fail, he escapes justice, perhaps forever. I beg you. Do not fail.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my thoughts on Ghost Wolf and my reaction to the new ‘My Hero Academia’ film announcement! Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.