Chosen full movie review - Capable
I would say this film was a cautionary tale, in more ways than one.
A story told by way of narrative in the present day, to a child wanting to hear about grandpa's stories of the past is more than ably delivered by Harvey. Through his narrative we are told the story of Sonson, his wife and sister-in-law, all Jews living in Bulgaria towards the end of WWII. For some less than clear reason the story references that he is a lawyer, though this comes to nothing (in my view) through the movie. It tells the story of a small group of underground Jews and their struggles after the lead characters wife dies (due to Cancer whilst pregnant, though the latter seems to go unmentioned other than a line about eating for two)...
Anyways I digress, the film tells the story eloquently enough, there is minimal then/now flashbacks that can so often be an annoyance, with Luke Mably very competently leading the cast. He embarks on a journey after the death of his wife to locate his sister-in-law who has been shipped off in one of the notorious 'trains' bound for Poland - she however is no withering Jewess doomed to her fate, no way, she (played very well indeed by Ana Ularu) escapes the train and disappears back into the underground network. The narrative tells us that Sonson has walked a great distance in a short number of days and eventually (after a few Germans are shot or otherwise dispatched) meets up with another group of underground Jewish fighters.
What ensures is a small band of fighters seemingly taking on a never ending stream of Germans armed with machined guns, grenades and a couple of well equipped tanks. After the smoke clears the Jews win the fight and out of the smoke comes not just a reprieve but the missing sister-in- law, hugs ensue.
It may not sound much, and yep there are holes in the story throughout, but the cast are entirely wonderful, and tell the story in a compelling way despite the plot/script holes. Much applause much go to the leads, Luke and Ana who were simply brilliant, and a degree of applause to Harvey who did his job well also.
This story has been told before, and perhaps told better through script, cinematography and directing, but I have less often seen it acted so well. I have not seen much of Luke in recent years despite his obvious ability, and Ana is new discovery who I hope to see more of in film.
This is not at all the best war story ever told, nor the best narrative of the oppressed overcoming their evil oppressors, but it is a story well acted and generally delivered, and I imagine if you find this film and spare the time to watch it you might also enjoy the many good parts if brings to the table.