On the 27th May 1942, Jozef Gabcik (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) put into effect their plan to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich was the architect of the Final Solution, third highest ranking Nazi and head of German forces in occupied Czechoslovakia. Gabcik and Kubis were Czechoslovak agents working for the government in exile. 'Anthropoid', which means "resembling a human being in form" was the operation's codename. It's interesting to note that the agents were trained by British Intelligence. One of the men responsible for training them was Sir Christopher Lee.
The movie begins with the two agents parachuting into Czechoslovakia and covers the entire operation, including the bloody aftermath in which 15,000 Czecholslovaks were killed. Anthropoid has been praised for it's historical accuracy. Shot entirely in Prague, many of the real locations were used. The assassination scene plays out in real time, accurately depicting the movements of all those involved. A lot of research was carried out to make sure it reflected real events. I have seen several documentaries on the operation, and despite knowing the outcome, I still found the movie to be a tense and compelling drama with some gripping performances. The final gun battle was recreated using Gestapo and Czech reports. It was filmed on a sound stage in which the crew had built an exact replica of the church where the battle took place.
Anthropoid should stand as an example to other film makers looking to depict true events. The historical accuracy and attention to detail really pay off. Not to mention the fact this is an incredible story of bravery and espionage. Although it's not the untold story the trailer claims! Operation Anthropoid has been the subject of at least six other movies, plus countless documentaries. But that doesn't take anything away from Anthropoid. Movies like this will help inform future generations of the sacrifices made by so many for our freedom.
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