Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jeff’s Movie Review: Defiance

Periodically, Emily and I meet up with her father and brothers in Lincoln, RI for a dinner and a movie. Since we’ve already seen so many movies, it was pretty slim pickings. We saw Defiance, starring Daniel Craig.

Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber star as the two main Bielski brothers, Jews who escaped from Nazi-occupied Poland and formed a famous partisan army in the forest of Belarus. Whereas Zus (Schreiber) wants to take the fight to the Nazis, Moses… er… Tuvia believes “Our revenge is to live” and keeps hundreds of women and elderly intellectuals safe and sound in the woods.

My problems with Defiance are numerous:
  • Daniel Craig represents that blonde-haired, blue-eyed faction the Jewish people. (Emily: “Seriously? They couldn’t pop in some contacts?”)
  • As this rag tag group carves out new life in the forests, they inevitably run out of food and medicine. They do not, however, run out of vodka.
  • The movie is set in Eastern Europe. Characters should speak Russian. They do not; they speak English in mangled Russian accents. But not always… sometimes, like when they’re saying something really communisty (like “Comrade”), it’s in Russian.
  • Our hero rides a white horse (seriously).
  • Coughing guy dies… but not before he speaks of his renewed faith.
  • Estranged brother shows up just in time to save the day. Whoa… that was close.

The whole thing ends with a battle … in 1942, with three solid years of the Holocaust still left to survive. We’re told in wrap-up end titles what becomes of everyone (the Bielskis moved to New York, opened a business). It left me a little flat.


(2: Just entertaining… no re-watchability).


  1. I just worry that we never would have understood what was going on if my dad didn't give us helpful reminders about 30 seconds after it became obvious.

  2. Where's the "My Bloody Valentine" review?

  3. We're not that far down the list yet. We'd still want to see The Reader.