A film in which Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, A History Of Violence, Lord Of The RIngs) plays a mild mannered and domestically under the thumb university lecturer in 1930’s Germany. His friend played by Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Armageddon) is a more confident and outspoken person but Jewish. They both fought together in the first war and they both share a disliking for the incumbent Nazi party’s ideals.
As the film progresses John Halder (Viggo Mortensen) finds himself accidentally associating with the Nazi party and this inevitably causes friction with his friend. John seems rather unwilling to stand up for what he believes in and as the film progresses he gets more and more tied up with things.
It’s hardly the world’s most original synopsis, but it’s well acted (not overacted), well shot and with a genuine old and brown feel to everything. It does have some nice touches too, but on the whole feels largely underwhelming and a bit like a play (on which it is apparently based).
It’s all in English but with occasional German phrases though, which makes for some quite funny exchanges when characters meet and say hi, because you get something like this:
A: Schonen Tag!
B: Hail Hitler!
A: Yes, so anyway, how’re you doing John?
3 on 5
Director: Vicente Amorim
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Jodie Whittaker, Gemma Jones, Anastasia Hille
UK Release: 17 April 2009