>> Good (2010)

Title: Good

Genre: Drama, War

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Mark Strong, Jodie Whittaker

Director: Vicente Amorim

Studio: National Entertainment Media

Runtime: 96 minutes

Release Date: September 28, 2010

Format: DVD

Discs: 1

MPAA Rating: R

Rating: 2.90 (out of 4.00)

Grade: B-

Bonus Features

Interviews with Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Jodie Whitaker, Mark Strong; Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Good is a film adaptation of British playwright C.P. Taylor’s 1981 play about a German professor of literature who joins the Nazi party against his true belief and recognizes the consequences of his actions when it is too late.
 
Set in 1937 Berlin, Hitler and the Nazi party are gaining power, and books that contradict the Third Reich’s ideologies are burned. John Halder, played by Viggo Mortensen, is summoned to draft a paper for the Nazis about humanitarian euthanasia. Even though Halder is smart enough to know that it will be used as propaganda, he accepts the offer. At first, he tells his best friend Maurice (Jason Isaacs), who is a Jewish psychoanalyst, that Hitler will not last long. At home, Halder does most of the household work including taking care of his two young children and tending to his sick mother because his wife seems to be neurotic. He is seduced not only by the dark power of the Nazis but also by a young and beautiful student of his, Anne (Jodie Whittaker). He eventually joins the Nazi party, leaves his family to be with Anne, and even earns a high ranking honorary title within the SS. What is going to happen his ex-wife, his mother, and Maurice? How long can he pretend to be a Nazi? Or is he completely converted to a member of the evil Third Reich? 
 
This film is obviously not about the Hitler regime’s military campaign, but clearly displays its evil psychological warfare. While watching the movie I despised the main character for not standing up for himself and for what he actually believes in. However, after the ending credits, I felt sorry for him. Viggo Mortensen is good at making Halder good and sympathetic but selfish and somewhat pathetic at the same time. The film indeed makes me wonder how many scientists, politicians and writers who initially disagreed with Hitler decided to stay in Germany and even worked for the Nazi regime in order to survive. Unfortunately, Good starts extremely slow. It builds an interesting scenario that makes you want to know how the story ends. However, don’t expect to get a clear conclusion. This is one of those movies that end when their stories finally get exciting. The ending may be obvious to some viewers, but I feel that it should have been explained better, deeper. For example, Halder’s delusions create some eerie moments during the movie, but I could not understand their role especially in the final segment. In conclusion, I was not totally satisfied with the ending, but Good shows how human minds and behaviors change in response to an oppressive environment.

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