The Aryan Couple
The Aryan Couple is one of those World War II movies that is well meaning but otherwise bland. A long running time and lack of any substance aside from its basic premise hurt the film, which comes across as extremely boring. This should be a well-acted movie with emotional themes. The acting is okay, but director John Daly (The Petersburg Cannes Express) botches any emotional tones. Worse is the violin-heavy soundtrack by Igor Khoroshev, which tends to overpower the actors and comes across as very cheesy.
The setting is 1944 Hungary, and the Nazis working their way across the country. Joseph Krauzenberg (Martin Landau, Hollywood Homicide, The Majestic) is wealthy industrialist with a beautiful mansion and large art collection. Because of his funds, he was able to buy passage for him and his wife Rachel (Judy Parfitt, Asylum, Girl with a Pearl Earring) to Switzerland. This agreement is tenuous, because they do not trust the Nazis. The Krauzenbergs know what the Nazis are doing to the Jews, and Rachel in particular is not afraid to show her hatred to Himmler (Danny Webb, The Upside of Anger, I'll Be There) and Eichmann (Steven Mackintosh, The Jacket, The Mother).
Hans (Kenny Doughy, The Great Raid, Crush) and Ingrid Vassman (Caroline Carver, George and the Dragon, My First Wedding) are an Aryan couple working for the Krauzenbergs. They are the perfect servants; always willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the Krauzenbergs life is easy. Only...they are not Aryan. They're actually Jews, working for the resistance. This is not a secret, since Daly, who co-wrote the script with Kendrew Lascelles (Focus) say as much at the very beginning of the film. Yet, the Krauzenbergs learn this fact well into the film, and all parties finally decide to do something.
So what's left? A plot that moves very slowly. Daly could have removed a good forty-five minutes from the first half without doing any damage to the film. In fact, it would probably make it better. There are long, drawn out conversations and many pensive looks from Doughy and Carver, who are both extremely uninteresting in their roles. The last half hour partially redeems the film. The Nazis become sinister, the tension feels real, and the characters actually do something. It's too little too late.
|Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.|
|1 hour 58 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, and thematic elements.|
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