You would think that the pitch for this movie would be simple enough “It’s like The Great Escape except it’s from a religious sect in the aftermath of the 1973 Chilean military coup, and it’s a true story! I’ve got Oscar Winner Florian Gallenberger on board to direct, Daniel Bruhl (Zemo from Civil War) and… you want to fund it? Brilliant! What do you mean you want to turn it into an English language romance drama starring Emma Watson?”
And there lies the main issue with Colonia, there’s defiantly the germ of a great film here, with its basis as one of those ‘its so crazy it has to be true’ stories but its really just a waste of time and effort.
Which is a sham because there’s a lot here that works, Michaeel Nyqvist is absolutely brilliant as the slimy villain, a lot of effort has been put into period detail and Bruhl is amazing in the lead role. It’s just a shame that nothing else works.
I won’t mince words, Emma Watson is miscast in the lead female role. She has stated in interviews that she was drawn to the role because the woman that she plays saves her husband as opposed to the usual, where the girl is saved by a knight in shining armor. (Thus making her decision to play Bell in Beauty and the Beast even more baffling) but even in scenes where she’s supposed to be at her wits end and desperately just trying to stay alive, she still looks as if shes in the middle of a shoot for a glamour mag. A lack of chemistry with Bruhl doesn’t help.
The film has one to many deus ex machinas for my taste and fails to create sense of all pervading menace and terror that is need. Whilst there was some of that in the last ten minutes, there’s nothing here that you haven’t seen done a hundred times better in other films. The romance focus doesn’t help much.
This is an important story, and one that I’m glad is being brought to the big screen, except I cant recommend it in this version. Wait for the documentary or for someone else to try with a different viewpoint.
My Score- Poor