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Review: Flammen & Citronen (Flame and Citron)

Flammen & Citronen (Flame and Citron)

Denmark, 2008

An excellent, violent, noirish World War II drama, based on the true story of the Holge Danske resistance group. Flame (Thure Lindhardt, so-called for his flame-colored hair) and Citron (the always reliable Mads Mikkelsen), are two resistance fighters called upon first to assassinate Danish collaborators, then the Nazis, and eventually, Flame’s girlfriend, who may (or may not) be a collaborator.

The film moves along at a rollicking pace, with excellent period detail, and is painted in a rich palette of browns, reds and whites so symbolic of Denmark. While the escapades of the two protagonists occasionally verge on the fantastic, a little background research reveals that most (if not all) that is shown in the film actually took place. (Particularly fascinating is the role of the BBC, who sent messages to the Danish resistance via coded broadcasts to let them know where and when aid would be arriving; and occasionally whom to target.)  As the characters descend into a miasma of violence, lies and claustrophobia, “Flammen & Citronen” veers into Tarantino territory, and as the body-count piles up, one wonders where the assassins will stop– including targeting each other.




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