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Old December 22nd, 2017, 11:14 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's mainstream english movie thread

Operation daybreak ( 1975 )

1942---the heyday of nazi occupation of Europe . Hitler's right hand man Reinhard Heydrich is appointed as the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia ( modern day Czech republic ) and he quickly unleashes a reign of terror there , giving orders for murder of countless innocents . To stop him , the British parachute three Czechoslavs with orders to assassinate Heydrich . The Royal air force drops two of them in the wrong position 200 km away from their intended target .

The two are questioned by a german patrol and have to kill the germans . But they are helped by czechs who bribe a german driver to take the two to a doctor because one of them is wounded slightly . To the surprise of the two , the doctor first questions them and then unites them with the third member of the group . The mission is on and they prepare plans to kill Heydrich while hiding in a church along with the Czech underground resistance .

The members of the Czech resistance do not agree with the idea of killing Heydrich because the nazis would take terrible revenge by killing scores of innocent Czechs . But for the three sent from Britain , orders are orders . However the first chance to kill Heydrich is lost as another oncoming train blocks their sight just when they are going to shoot him from afar while he is travelling in a train to Berlin .

But they use the resistance members to track Heydrich's movements and find out that he regularly uses a route for reconnoitering the countryside and slows down at a particular turning point . Two members of the group plan to kill him there . They are Sergeant Jan Kubiš ( played by Timothy Bottoms ) and Sergeant Jozef Gabčík ( played by Anthony Andrews ) . The third ( Sergeant Karel Curda---played by Martin Shaw ) goes to meet his wife and child and stays there .

As Heydrich's car slows down one of the two tries to kill him upfront by sten gun but his gun jams . As he flees , Heydrich's bodyguard chases him and leaves his master unprotected . The other lobs a grenade from the other direction fatally wounding Heydrich . The two then meet in the church and members of the resistance then ask them to flee as the avenging germans are after their blood . The two decide to wait for the third member ( Curda ) to come back .

But Curda who is living with his wife gets terrified after he hears about the german massacre and destruction of the village of Lidice as revenge for Heydrich's murder . He fears for his wife and child and thinks that they would get killed too in the german orgy of revenge . He actually goes to the germans and rats out on his comrades in return for safety of his family !!

As the germans surround the church and begin to kill , the extended climax is full of pathos . Of the twosome realising to their chagrin that the comrade they waited for has actually betrayed them . Of the resistance group putting a fierce fight to the death killing many germans . At last gas is pumped into the hiding room of the two and still they hold out . Finally they are attempted to be drowned by pumping water until they are forced to shoot themselves .

The movie has decent photography , but it is the musical score that excels . The background music truly is scintillating and is rich with emotion . The nazi era is properly recreated complete with nazi salutes and uniforms and brutality . Acting and action is good but it is in emotion that the film really scores . The men find time to form dalliances with women and the grief of the women on their death is hard to watch , especially because it is a true story . Yes the movie is based on real events and what happened to each character during or after the war is told at the end . As expected , the war takes the lives of most . But the destroyed village of Lidice was rebuilt after the war , a testament to the triumph of justice .

Verdict---Good .

Four stars out of five .

Last edited by ashdoc; December 22nd, 2017 at 11:19 AM.
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