Movie Review – The Counterfieters

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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It’s a general notion among cinema fanatics that any extraordinary movie must be foreign. I guess ‘The Counterfeiters’ falls under this category. It got the Oscar for best foreign film in 2007. There is a trick or two about Oscars. More than their thirst for good films they expect a film revolving around an issue, a film which inculcates film and opens their eyes about issue. The Counterfeiters is a similar film. The whole flashback scene is a history lesson. Yes, I agree it’s well enacted but there is nothing extraordinary to call this a great film. It’s just another movie about Schutzstaffel and their atrocities which makes a good viewing as it evokes sympathy every time you see a movie about it.


You judge this film only for its few scenes in the casino. Those were brilliant, especially the climax. Sorowitsch’s smile when the French woman tries to console him says it all. He’s another brilliant guy. We generally see foreign films which has won accolades. There is nothing wrong in it. There is no means of watching every film like we watch films from our background. But in those few acclaimed foreign films one thing to be noted is acting. You never see superfluous acting in a foreign film. Everything fits to frame. There is no one character you point out and say as brilliant but a everyone who acts makes the movie memorable. Sometimes I feel the actors get lost in script and we’re appreciating only the agenda but is it not the whole point? What we see is not the very first thing that should impress us? Make us moved?

Salomon Sorowtisch (well I like his name. Laila’s sister in Kanda Naal Mudhal pronounces Salomon or is it Solomon, in a unique way. Is it destiny that he has to get caught by SS, an abbreviation his name will lead to) is a currency and passport forger in living in Berlin. It doesn’t take much time to get caught by the Germans and boy how happy they are. Like everyone he gets into the concentration camp, tries to be a man initially. He shoves at a guard who tries to mistreat him but he doesn’t get it any punishment. May be the guard too would have known that it’s just the beginning.

After a few days when life begins to take toll on him he starts being practical, dishonoring his ego and losing his prestige. He starts painting portraits of the officials and gets recognized for it too. A great thing especially in a place like this. The very first moment I saw the portrait for the SS soldier I wasn’t sure of what the response would be. But the soldier gives a positive response. Sorowtisch gets on with his life and I thought he was clever.

Even when they try to forge US Dollars I see him truly dedicated to his work. Others see him as a slave but he didn’t seem defeated. He looked fairly happy for a guy who is in concentration camp. When his peer tries to educate him about their wrong deeds it doesn’t hit him. It didn’t hit me too. I too was fairly assured of his way of living. I thought it was a good idea to somehow live a decent life than to get stabbed by those soldiers.

Only during his release where his own countrymen doubt is where it hit me. Maybe he too would have realized at the same juncture. Otherwise why would he throw away all the money even though he could make any amount of it at any juncture?


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