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Overall Rating

Awesome: 33.33%
Worth A Look: 13.33%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 13.33%
Total Crap40%

1 review, 9 user ratings

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Aryan Couple, The (The Couple)
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by William Goss

"Do The Reich Thing"
1 stars

One could very easily mistake the opening of 'The Aryan Couple' for an Auschwitz souvenir video, as the camera lingers over the vacant concentration camp for several minutes. Just as you sense that faux gravitas seeping off the screen, director John Daly cues the shrieking violins and accompanies them with the regrettably rote images of crowded trains, separated families, and Nazis who speak in perfect English. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Holocaust is back, and it is more overwrought than ever before.

The titular pair (Kenny Doughty and Caroline Carver) are servants to the affluent Krauzenbergs (Martin Landau and Judy Parfitt), a Jewish couple forced into signing their wealth over to the Nazis to ensure their safe passage out of Germany. However, their servants are not Aryans, but a part of the Jewish resistance who see a pending dinner with top officers as an opportunity for assassination. The tension is supposed to build as Mrs. Krauzenberg continues to get snappy with the Nazi guests, but since the dinner takes place only an hour in, the outcome isnít difficult to deduce. Soon enough, the couple finds themselves on the run, catching several trains, holding their breath at passport checkpoints, etc. with Heinrich Himmler (Danny Webb, who resembles a cross between Adolph Hitler and Bob Balaban, complete with mini mustache, goosestepping, the whole nein yards) in pursuit. If only the Benny Hill theme kicked inÖ

If there is a demand out there for more films concerning the Holocaust, it eludes me, and the fact that films of such poor caliber feel justified in taking such tragedy and transforming it into a vapid suspense film of sorts seems nearly insulting to those who suffered. Couple isnít so much a work of exploitation as it is of obligation and, frankly, tedium, yet drama based on these events deserves much better. The fact that the film suffers in quality in addition to sincerity certainly doesnít help. The cinematography and editing are incredibly stale, and the score is frustratingly bombastic. Landau, the only recognizable actor, barely emotes enough to earn his paycheck, and the same could be said for the entire cast. Either conviction or composition could have been enough to compensate for shortcomings in each other, but neither component registers in those departments. Simply put, there is not a single aspect of this movie, whether in production, performance, or principle, that manages to justify its very existence, and the fact that is a hackneyed Holocaust thriller makes it that much worse.

Daly wants to craft a triumph of the shrill, a melodramatic mish-mash that feels like a rather lazy bid for awards attention. No one ever said that every Holocaust picture had to be 'Schindlerís List,' 'The Pianist,' or 'Life is Beautiful,' yet 'The Aryan Couple' seems to want the same recognition without the effort of genuinely compelling storytelling or equally enthralling performances. No, John Daly wants to have his atrocity and eat it too, and that kind of Nazi party pooper may be the worst of all.

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originally posted: 05/12/06 07:51:48
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 FilmFest Kansas City For more in the 2005 FilmFest Kansas City series, click here.

User Comments

6/13/09 Csorba very good. Different direction of the topic; that's all. Some folks appreciate such work. 5 stars
4/01/06 Fred Wilson This is a bland, plain, gloomy pic. 2 stars
12/09/04 Lance Miccio Daly's second film as director is a riveting story and surberply acted 5 stars
12/07/04 Seth Granot You warm to this one. It hits home with a KO punch. 4 stars
12/07/04 Jason Schwartz Powerful moving story which keeps you guessing! 5 stars
12/05/04 Richard Liddle Sucks you in and keeps you guessing! 5 stars
12/04/04 filmmaster Not bad, slow beginning but pickups 4 stars
12/03/04 hlwachen not credible;predictable 2 stars
12/01/04 L D Gaines Terrific, on the edge of my seat the last hour. 5 stars
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  18-Nov-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 16-Jan-2007



Directed by
  John Daly

Written by
  John Daly
  Peter Beale

  Caroline Carver
  Kenny Doughty
  Martin Landau
  Austen Palmer
  Steven Mackintosh

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