About – Based on the true events, two weeks before the end of World War II. A young German soldier fighting for survival finds an abandoned Nazi truck, with a captain’s uniform well presented in a suitcase. The young man impersonates as ‘the captain’ to escape the monstrous war.
Strangely the first few minutes of this true story, was rather humorous. By the intriguing character that we are presented with, Willi Herold (Max Hubacher). We find him running away from a group of German soldiers through a small wood. Eventually, he loses them and stumbles across the uniform. A lone solider, Freytag (Milan Peschel) befriends Willi and undertakes every command. These two characters have a weird relationship at the beginning, it’s like a double act, its somewhat amusing. However, it does leave us wondering where this film can go with these two.
Oh, my word, does it change. As soon as other characters are involved within Willi’s journey, this adventure takes a sour turning for everyone. However, for us, it’s entertaining, thrilling and outrageous. As the narrative develops, we see the struggles that Willi and Freytag have with each other and each other’s values in life. This is where the ‘comedy act’ ends. As you can imagine, the role of someone with all the power takes over an honest man’s life. Willi was far too gone into this fantasy he forgets what his life was like before putting on that uniform…
Performances were great, brilliant in fact. Max Peschel did a wonderful job in portraying a no-mad to someone so high up the Nazi pecking order. Max turned his character through slow steps, expressing certain feelings within his own mind that only we can see. These types of emotions shown to us, makes us feel sorry for the man but also confused on why he is acting in this way, however, we soon realise after each close-up encounter, why he acts like this with a little grin.
The effect of having a film shot in black and white is stunningly beautiful. Especially a European film like this one. With the dialect being German, shot in black and white and having 1940’s music playing in the background of certain scenes. The nostalgia of having these three elements bring the whole film together. Black and white films are on the rise, having Cold War starting this year’s theme, more films are taking that risk. Without disappointment, The Captain has done a fine job at keeping that topic.
The Captain is a brilliant, fun film that will get your heart-racing but also have you confused on how to feel towards Willi. If you love your bizarre, war films that are based upon true events, then this is the film for you.
With thanks to Signature Entertainment for this screening.