Operation Finale

operation_finale_xlgDirected by Chris Weitz who is best known as the cowriter of 2002’s About a Boy and 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the director of 2007’s The Golden Compass and 2009’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Operation Finale is based on the true life story of the hunt for and capture of one of the most notorious Nazi officers Adolf Eichmann, played by the always terrific Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley. Although the film does not fully live up to its expectations and can be at times slow, its greatest appeal is its fascinatingly real life story that may not be widely known. The story takes place in 1960 and follows a group of agents and officers in the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and security agency Shin Bet as they travel to Argentina after learning that Eichmann who is credited with being the architect of the Holocaust is living in a suburb of Buenos Aires undercover. At the behest of the upper echelon of the Israeli government, the Mossad agent Peter Malkin, played by Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac, is recruited to form a team that will track the whereabouts of Eichmann and come up with a plan to bring him back to Israel to stand trial for his crimes against the Jewish people during World War II. His team includes several secret operatives, including an anesthesiologist named Hanna, played by Mélanie Laurent best known for her role in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, and fellow agent Rossi, played by comedian Nick Kroll. The movie presents a sometimes gripping account of the operatives following Eichmann’s every move and eventually decide to capture him at nighttime very near his home that he shares with his wife and two sons. When several issues arise, Eichmann must remain captive in the Israeli safe house in Argentina until the occasion arises when they can safely transport him out of the country. Throughout his detainment, Eichmann begins to develop somewhat of a rapport with Peter, and they both discuss their personal lives and their experiences during World War II. Eventually, after a internationally televised trial in Israel, Eichmann is finally executed in June 1962 for his horrific crimes against humanity and participation in the killing of over 6 million Jews. Overall, I found it to be an intriguing film highlighting the lengths in which Mossad and other intelligence agencies went to in order to capture Nazis who had escaped to South America; however, I thought it was not tightly executed and the action could have been intensified.

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