Starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell
Directed by Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond)
Rated R for violence and language
Appropriate for ages 15+
Based on a true story, Defiance follows the lives of three brothers that escape Nazi-occupied Poland only to find themselves fighting Nazis alongside the Russians and building a village in the Belarusian forest where they are able to protect other escaped Jews.
I will start by admitting that this is a very interesting story. As a true tale of heroism, I find the actual events to be rather inspirational. That being said, the main fault of this film lies within the script. Throughout the film, much of the dialogue rings false and the many of the characters seem like stereotypes rather than real life-folks put into a horrible situation. Perhaps this is true due to a desire by the filmmakers to be too true to the story, or maybe it’s because the words and characters look great on paper, but lose their authenticity on screen. Whatever it may be, these two faults get in the way of a really great story.
What the film does have going for it are two great leading men in Craig and Schreiber, a fantastic production team, and one of the most beautiful musical scores of the year by composer James Newton Howard and virtuosos violinist Joshua Bell. I think that had I watched this film as a foreign language movie without subtitles, my opinion of it might be very high. As it is, I think that some audiences will connect, but many will walk away disapointed. C+