Relying on some spell-bounding performances by its lead cast members and enough inner drama to keep the audience's attention, The Counterfeiters sends its viewers on a terrifying yet true adventure that will grip at their heart strings from opening to closing credits.
Seeing that the end of the war is near, the German Rich decide to produce their own banknotes in the currency of their major war enemies. Hoping to flood the enemy's economy, the Germans relied on professional printers, fastidious bank officials and crafty forgers to make the notes before it was too late. Transported from other camps to Sachsenhausen, "Operation Bernhard" was born. Day and night the crew labored over their workstations, knowing that time was of the essence. If they cooperated with the enemy and their plan, they had a chance at survival; it they sabotaged the operation, a sure death awaited them within the camp. Testing their morals and their devotion to the men who were killing those like them, the men of "Operation Bernhard" had a decision to make, one that would affect their lives and the world around them.
Tackling the largest forgery conspiracy ever, the film has a lot of inner drama and climatic experiences already built in. But the film goes beyond its given edge-of-your-seat dramatics, diving into its characters and depending on their interaction with one another to give the film its edge. And luckily for fans, it works!
As the film opens, audience members are introduced to Salomon Sorowitsch, the film's central character. Played by Karl Markovics, Sorowitsch is brought to life through the perfect use of emotion, actions and understanding, and with the combined use of all three, the film is able to reach its full potential.
However, Markovics could not have done it alone. Surrounded by a great supporting cast, the film drew a mountain of great performances. However, it wasn't the performances that truly mesmerized me but the director's ability to showcase each character in a snapshot rather than a full album.
Giving a glimpse of each character helped to create a mystery as to their actions and intentions. By doing this, the audience members are kept in the dark, never understanding a characters move and never knowing what to expect next; thus giving the film a real life aspect that is often missing from true story films.
But no matter how amazing the actors or the character in which they portray, I have to give the real credit to the true story that helped to form this film's plotline.
Showcasing a horrific story, many would expect the film to be filled with horrible Nazis and treacherous conditions. And while many of these things are present throughout the film, they were never the focal point. Instead, the film focuses on the story at hand; the counterfeiters. Because of this, the audience is able to experience the story that was intended, not one that was derived and dramatized to exemplify emotions.