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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

A Hidden Life Silence meets World War 2, Truly Astonishing Film Grade: B+

Source: IMDB

God Forbid I don’t what’s worst: The unbearable cold weather or these elderly women that won’t stop talking during the movie?! UGH! Anyways let’s talk about A Hidden Life. A Hidden Life takes place in Austria during World War 2. It’s been said that all Austrians whom are called for battle, must vow their loyalty to Hitler. For this Austrian farmer Franz (August Diehl) his mind tells him otherwise, as he believes it’s wrong to vow loyalty to an evil being like Hitler. Witness a film that rattles you emotionally, about a courageous man whom stands up to what he believes in, even if it means losing his wife, kids, and respect from little village. The Cinematography of this film was pretty breathtaking, lots of lovely nature shots, love the greens, mountains, and water falls. I do enjoy the set pieces, they look real and authentic than just normal set pieces, which wouldn’t surprise me if this film was shot on location. The Score is solid, beautifully elegant orchestrated music. The cast in this film all in were pretty good as a whole. Franz played by August Diehl was pretty good, this character really pulled some emotional strings in me, a very well written character. Although some may criticize Franz’ decision in maintaining to stay away from Hitler receiving his loyalty... Trust me, the old women let me know many times in theater, God Forbid. But we must look at the bigger picture here: Is it worth being a coward and letting evil win, so we can go back to our better lives?! Like sure it would be easy just to do that, but in Franz’ eyes that was absolutely unacceptable for him. He understands that Hitler did not represent anything good or followed life though the eyes of God, so he did what he felt was right and go against him. We all want to see Franz free and be back home with his wife and kids, but we must think about why is Franz sacrificing his mind, heart, body, and soul for the common good here, as why he refuses to stand down against evil. Valerie Pachner playing Franz’ wife Fani was pretty good as well, this character also tore my heart in many occasions. Just the way the village treated her because her husband would not vow his life to Hitler was honestly embarrassing. Giving her many dirty looks, throwing stuff at her and her kids, and even stealing off her... A bunch of cowards. Why did Fani deserve anything that was coming to her?! The woman was so nice, hard working, took care of her kids while her husband is gone, who gives them the right to treat her harshly for?!Franz Rogowski plays a small supporting role as Franz’ friend and he was pretty good as well, this and Transit... Very nice year for Franz. Couple flaws I have for this film. The beginning of this film took some time to get used to the style, if better constructed it wouldn’t be much of a problem in the beginning. Some pacing issues here and there, I mean it’s a three hour movie so I expected every second to count as some parts felt reused at times. I also thought the cut to blank scenes were a bit confusing, as was I trying to make out of what the cut to blank sequences meant? I gotta be quite honest with you: A Hidden Life was a big surprise, I really really liked this film and probably will go one of the most under appreciated films of 2019. It comes across Martin Scorsese’s Silence mixed with World War 2 elements, it’s a very deep proactive film that battles themes of pride and some here and there about religion. Is standing what you believe in worth all the punishment and hate Franz receives?! Some may say it wasn’t worth all that abuse mentally and harshly physically, which you can somewhat agree to, but as far as turning over to the enemy... Highly doubtful. I mean what is a life knowing you live in complete shame?! That guilt weighs on you over time, as Franz couldn’t live with himself fighting for a man that wasn’t for the greater good, he wasn’t going to be a common sheep like the rest of the people, he was going to stand by for what he believed in and refuse to fight for him. I think instead of yelling at the screen to sign the paper over to the Nazi’s, claiming his loyalty to Hitler, that we should praise at the fact he wouldn’t stand for hypocrisy by siding with this evil man at no cost. From the looks of modern day civilians: Many of them are hypocrites and cowards, as I would love to see more stand up courageous people like Franz. Why I say this film takes on religious themes, is the fact Franz is battling his faith while questioning Hitler and those whom choose to give his loyalty to him. He has learned from passages from the Bible and his time at the Church, that God doesn’t condone the acts Hitler portrays to the world. His faith prevents him to side with his kind, as he just doesn’t seem completely comfortable that he isn’t following life through the eyes of Christ. There is quite several moments where Franz keeps his faith strong through adversity, as it makes me think just how strong of a relationship one must have with God, in order to keep your composure despite everything that’s happening to this poor man. This film had a well written story, that kept me engaged in the events occurring while making me think on a deep level with the themes of the film. It was truly a sad film, at times I felt in complete sorrow for this beloved couple, whom once had a happy simple little life, then turned into turmoil. Though the film is almost three hours long, as I do believe a good twenty minutes could be cut, I still really enjoyed what was offered as this will be a film I’ll revisit sometime down the road. Overall, A Hidden Life is a pretty damn good film. I highly recommend checking this one out if it’s playing in a theater near you, don’t miss out on this one folks! -Mitch Smietana

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