Resistance (PG)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/11/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Resistance is beautifully shot and features strong performances from Andrea Riseborough and Tom Wlaschiha but the story fails to capitalise on its intriguing premise and the pacing is painfully slow throughout.

What's it all about?
Directed by Amit Gupta, Resistance is based on the novel by Owen Sheers and is set in an alternative WWII where D-Day failed and the Nazis have invaded Britain. Andrea Riseborough stars as Sarah, a farmer's wife in an isolated Welsh valley, who wakes up to discover that all the men in her village have disappeared and a group of German soldiers led by Captain Albrecht (Tom Wlaschiha) have arrived to set up an observation post.

However, the Nazis are a surprisingly co-operative bunch and soon they're pitching in to help the women run their farms during an increasingly harsh winter. At the same time, Sarah develops a tentative relationship with Albrecht, despite the fact that the penalty for collaboration is death.

The Good
Riseborough and Wlaschiha are both excellent, developing their cautious relationship through a series of looks and glances, though the script gives them very little to work with and seems to deliberately strip out any potential for tension. Similarly, there's a tantalising supporting cast that includes Michael Sheen (as a local postman training resistance fighters), Fresh Meat's Kimberley Nixon (as one of the village women) and Misfits' Iwan Rheon (as a trainee sniper) but the script completely wastes them by giving them almost nothing to do.

On the plus side, the film is beautifully shot, with striking cinematography by John Pardue that makes the most of the film's windswept locations; some of the snowscapes are gorgeous to look at.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it completely fails to capitalise on its intriguing plot: there are hardly any action sequences and there's no sense of tension or suspense, despite the potential in the set-up – essentially, if you're hooked by the 'Nazis invade the Welsh valleys' premise, you're going to be very disappointed. Ultimately, the film is more concerned with the central relationship, but even that is curiously passionless and devoid of emotional impact, despite strong work from both actors.

Worth seeing?
Despite strong performances from its two leads, Resistance is ultimately something of a disappointment and ultimately fails to capitalise on its intriguing premise.

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Content updated: 22/10/2018 07:40

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