THE COUNTERFEITERS: AVERAGE MOVIE FOR A COURAGEOUS STORY
Based on the true story of Jewish prisoners in a concentration camp during WWII, The Counterfeiters is an okay movie about men who rose above sadness and horror to survive the Holocaust. By not producing the money the Nazis needed to win WWII, their actions helped to end the war. The Counterfeiters is another film about the atrocity of these camps. But it doesn’t have the same impact like Schindler’s List does. The movie doesn’t do justice to these men and their heroic tale.
‘Sally’ Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) is a talented counterfeiter who lives a life of luxury. But then he is caught by Friedrich Herzog (Devid Streisow), he is sent to a concentration camp. But this isn’t any concentration camp. This camp is where Jewish men with certain talents are put to work. Sally is sent so he can utilize his counterfeiting skills for the Nazi government. They want him and the other men to produce money to keep the war going. As long as they do what they are told, they will be provided for. This means warm beds, decent food, and showers. This operation is known as Operation Bernhard and is run by Friedrich Herzog, which Sally comes to find out. But when one of the men decides he will not do as he is told, Sally tries to cover for him and keep the peace. This leads to dissension among the men. Sally has to decide if he wants to fight to save all of these men or prevent the Nazis from continuing with their war.
The story is the account of men facing the worse and still fighting back. It is an amazing tale during a terrible war. But the movie doesn’t convey that. It simply lays it there for its audience without making them connect with the men. The only moving part of the film is when Adolph Burger, the man who refuses to do what is asked of him, finds out his wife has died. But the scene where the men find out the war is over could only be described as emotionless. The cast is fine but not one performance sticks out as particularly good. And the scenery and locations do their job. There is no color once Sally is in the camp. Only drab grays, greens, and shades of brown are seen. This expresses the lack of hope these men felt and show the extreme conditions that they were put through.
There have been films that have showed what prisoners went through during WWII. Schindler’s List and Black Book (Zwartboek) are a couple of them. These movies make it very easy to connect with their characters and you feel their pain. That is the one major difference between these movies and The Counterfeiters.
A group of men who single handedly could have prevented the Germans from winning WWII; The Counterfeiters could have just as easily been a documentary. It is a great story but is told with no passion by its cast or its director.