Operation Finale was directed by Chris Weitz and written by Matthew Orton. It’s the real life story of Peter Malkin ( Oscar Isaac ) an Israeli agent hunting down the former-Nazi supermind Adolf Eichmann ( Ben Kingsley ) in Argentina.
Historical Spoilers Ahead
A bit of context; Adolf Eichmann was indeed a real-life figure. He was in charge of transporting the Jews to the concentration camps, having come up with the “solution” to quickly and effectively put six million Jews in I would say graves, only the NSP wouldn’t even offer that. Though the characters are interpritations of the real ones, the events are indeed non-fiction. Eichmann escaped the Allied and Communist forces invading his homeland and fled to Argentina. Only to one day be found alive, and with a family by Israeli agents.
The story takes place in the 1950s, Nazi Germany is no more, and the new Israeli state is looking to protect Jews around the world. Rumor has spread that Eichmann may indeed still be alive, and in Argentina of all places ( which was actually a very popular Nazi-destination at the time ).
Truthfully, without going into too many spoilers, the story is actually very, very basic. Peter goes to Argentina, finds Eichmann, Eichmann pretends he isn’t Eichmann for a while, then Peter tries to convince Eichmann to travel to Germany, using his own personal, painful experiences and a sprinkling of philosophy here and there. Add some moral dilemmas ‘somebody else would’ve taken his place’ and make him seem like a good guy that got stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you’ve got yourself a movie. Also Melanie Laurent plays a nurse, fair bit of screentime, doesn’t affect much. Maybe she should’ve stuck to burning Nazis in French cinemas.
Overall, Operation Finale was a decent film, complimented by with solid performances by Isaac, Laurent and especially Kingsley, who once again delivered an incredible performance most actors could only dream of achieving. Maybe it’s because Kingsley is a Jew in real life that he felt a deep passion for the project. To make a Nazi, responsible for the deaths of millions seem relatable and compassionate, only to at the end once again be reminded of the atrocities he’s responsible for, even if much of the process might have been out of his hands. For everything it had going for it, I’d give this film a 7.4/10.
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