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Old 10-16-2017, 07:54 PM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Default Ashdoc's movie review---The man who captured Eichmann

After the German defeat in world war 2 , many of Hitler's top brass ran away to south America . Both Josef Mengele ( who had committed horrible experiments on bodies of live jews ) and Adolf Eichmann ( who had helped in transportation of jews to death camps ) fled to Argentina , where the far right wing government offered them a new identity and a chance to live .

But the Israeli spy agency ( MOSSAD ) was on the lookout for them and not all of them were able to lead peaceful lives . This movie is about the capture of Adolf Eichmann by the MOSSAD in 1960 and his transportation to Israel to face trial . He was eventually executed for his crimes against humanity .

But as the movie shows , identifying Eichmann was not a easy thing as he had acquired a new identity . He was first suspected because the father of the woman his son was dating repelled him as the father of the woman had the serial number of a nazi death camp on his wrist ; the number being a sign that he was a jew . The father contacted the Israeli authorities and they were not sure because the father was blind . But eventually a team is sent to try identify Eichmann , led by MOSSAD agent Peter Malkin ( played by Arliss Howard ) . This team keeps a close watch on the activities of Eichmann and hits pay dirt---for the person they are watching celebrates his marriage anniversary on the same date as Eichmann's marriage anniversary , thus confirming his identity .

The capture of Eichmann is planned to be a relatively simple affair ; just overpower him while he is walking towards his home after alighting from a bus that he regularly alights from , and bundle him in a car and speed off....but the plan almost misfires as the target does not alight from the bus that night and heavy rain starts pouring . But the MOSSAD agents are nothing if not patient and wait till Eichmann alights from another bus later . Luckily by this time the rain has stopped . And the agents succeed before Eichmann's waiting wife can raise a hue and cry .

In the safe house where Eichmann is kept as a captive , the Israeli agents take turns to guard him . And they make him confess his real identity . In the beginning some kind of rapport develops between the captors and captured . But as they talk over food and wine Eichmann tries to deny his culpability in the holocaust . His rants touch a raw nerve and the agents guarding him are utterly repelled from the task of guarding him ; no one wants to give him company .

As arguments start between Eichmann and Peter Malkin , a powerful scene in which Peter goes away from the room to cry his heart out brings out the difference of the jewish experience during the second world war from the life experience of normal people ; Peter cries because he has lost much of his family to the holocaust and hence can't bear Eichmann's rants , and similarly all the other members of the capturing team have lost their families . In effect , they are torn and uprooted people....not a single one of them has led a normal life of security and comfort like us....

Capturing Eichmann is one thing , but taking him out of Argentina is another....for Eichmann's son has contacted the Argentinian police and they are on the lookout for the Israelis ; the police has promised Eichmann's son that all exit points from Argentina are being watched and the Israelis won't be able to take Eichmann to Israel to stand trial .

So how do the Israelis manage take their prisoner out of Argentina to Israel ? Watch the movie for that....

Robert Duvall has put up a good performance as Eichmann and Arliss Howard is good as Peter Malkin . Towards the end the movie comes close to look like a thriller....but it being made for TV , it is hampered by it's low budget . Still it is an okay watch .

Verdict---Okay .
Two and a half stars .
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