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By Alan Ng | April 8, 2020

It is not too long before they learn of Barbie’s plan to flush out the Jews and members of the resistance. It becomes clear to all that the children need to be taken immediately to Switzerland. This trek is not so easy as it involves a long train ride and an equally long journey through the Alps.

Resistance is an exciting thriller that is equally matched in terms of production values and storytelling as other similar films about the Jewish community living in Nazi-occupied Europe. The film has its share of horrific moments of gruesome bloodshed, torture, and extreme anti-Semitism. There are also bright moments spotlighting individuals risking their lives to help, solely because it’s the right thing to do as humans.

“His mime is passable…he’s no Marcel Marceau.”

What you really care about in this review is Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Marcel Marceau. If someone was going to cast as a young Marcel Marceau, Jesse Eisenberg is about as good as it gets from actors in his age range. His mime is passable for the film—much better than I can do. That said, he’s no Marcel Marceau. Eisenberg appears out of place in war-torn France. His boyish good looks make him stick out as a resistance fighter, but then I think that’s the point. Looking out of place served him and Marcel well. Some may criticize, Eisenberg’s casting and performance as being a Hollywood choice, but to me, the fact that it is seen as an odd choice, makes it work overall.

So, if we’re going to answer the question of “why another Holocaust” movie, just the simple fact that this is the real, little known, story of the world’s great mime, then yes, this is a story worth telling. I’d also add that little known is the real person/monster of Klaus Barbie, and Mattias Schweignoefer gives a frightening and nuanced performance unlike the typical portrayal of Nazi’s in other films. Though, I should mention Ed Harris bookends Resistance as General George S. Patton in a standard biopic trope of “let me tell you the story of a great man…”

Resistance (2020)

Directed and Written: Jonathan Jakubowicz

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Edgar Ramirez, Clémence Poésy, Matthias Schweighöfer, Géza Röhrig, Ed Harris, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

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"…the story of famed mime Marcel Marceau..."

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