"successfully shines a light on a historical event that created the premises for the Palestinian and Israeli war"
The first project to bring on screen one of the major historical episodes that is at the base of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, Entebbe brings to the surface a fragment of the Palestinian war that deeply influenced this part of our modern history.
Set in the 70’s, Entebbe follows the terrorist group that hijacked a plane traveling from Tel-Aviv to Paris and landed in Uganda to take hostage its Jewish passengers and demand the release of dozens of Palestinian terrorists from prison.
Directed by Josè Padilha, Entebbe doesn’t have a dynamic pace. The story splits the action between the hostile takeover of the air-France plane and the planning of the mission in Germany. The timeline, however, is still sharp and clear and, in the film, the motives behind the terrorists’ actions are all laid out perfectly thanks to the flashbacks showing the planning of the mission in the Revolutionary Cells’ headquarters.
As the film moves between the execution of the mission and its organisation in Berlin, the camera follows both the terrorist group, led by two german activists, who wanted to fight along with the Palestinians, and the Israeli government trying to find a way to negotiate with them to save the hostages.
Throughout the events, the focus shifts between the difficulties and moral hardship in carrying out the mission as well as the way in which the government handled the situation and save the hostages, while still gaining profit and political assent.
The cinematography is detailed and mostly employs close ups to follow the action while focusing on the protagonists’ faces to showcase all their emotions. The mission weighs on the whole group and, along the way, the pressure creates several conflicts between all of them. In all the scenes, the camera becomes a silent companion that focuses entirely on their facial expressions making every scene more intense and poignant.
Since war and politics go hand in hand, in Entebbe, the story doesn’t pick a side in the conflict; on the contrary it masterfully showcases the good and the bad done by both Palestinians and Israeli people during such a complicated time and, in doing so, it maintains an impartial point of view until the end.
The purpose of the film is instantly clear. It only wants to reiterate the message that, in a messy and dangerous war between Nations, the only victims risking everything are the common citizens on both sides. To aid this purpose the dialogue is all dense and meaningful and they highlight the ramifications that these specific actions have on the future of the Palestinian conflict.
Since Entebbe is bringing on the screen real historical events, the cast ensemble has the responsibility to give justice to their characters and Daniel Brühl, once again, carries the whole film on his shoulders along with Eddie Marsan.
Their performances are stellar and flawless. They both understood their characters and lost themselves in the project without hesitation. They are both portraying real well rounded and complex people involved in a huge political conflict, and, since in reality, good guys and bad guys don’t exist, they have the difficult task of having to embody two men who live in that grey area between heroes and foes, who have to do bad and dangerous things to win their battles. Characters who have to make tough decisions while thinking of all the possible outcomes.
Although the movie feels slightly too long and at times the soundtrack can feel quite overwhelming, Entebbe successfully shines a light on a historical event that created the premises for the Palestinian and Israeli war, a conflict that, nowadays, is still devastating and dividing two countries.