Normandy (2011) – Review

3 Stars

Normandy aka Red Rose of Normandy lacks the superstars to make this a production with clout. Yet it is a surprising little picture with a lot to offer viewers, who are willing to over look the low production values. On the days before the Allies hit the shores of Normandy on D-Day during World War II, Klaus (Struckmann) and Klaudia (Angelina Jolie look-a-like, Claudia Crawford) confront their love for each other and make an attempt to flee war torn France amidst the biggest invasion in world history. Writer/Director Tino Struckmann proves that he is a natural born filmmaker, with a distinct director’s eye. However his screenplay and the resulting product is far more ambitious than the budget or creative talent is able to pull off. This is an undeniably well cast movie with a few great performances. However the storyline puts the audience in the potentially odd position of sympathizing with a Nazi. Albeit a man who has a grave reservations about the atrocities his military is committing.

Struckmann has a compelling easy screen presence and I would like to see more of his work. He is Clooney like in the manner than we aren’t overwhelmed by his physicality but beguiled by his charisma. The script is far more thoughtful and story driven than is the norm for this type of war movie. The film does a decent job building a sense of dread and is able to mount tension as the beach invasion draws near. This picture could serve as a companion piece to The Thin Red Line or even The End of the Affair.

Admittedly some of the characterizations in this terse drama are stereotypes of the genre, particularly Damian Chapa’s creepy portrayal of Brahms. Credit must be given to Chapa for his attempt at a German accent. The rest of the cast has a mixed accents that are all over the place. Though the film goes on for too long and at times the plot may seem convoluted, the skillful use of locations and the excellent performances make for a worthwhile viewing experience.

Director: Tino Struckmann
Stars: Tino Struckmann, Damian Chapa, Claudia Crawford

4 thoughts on “Normandy (2011) – Review

  1. This was a really good independent movie, I really enjoyed it. there were some things that could have been better or bigger and at times the editing and camera could have been better. However overall it was a really good story and the lead Tino Struckmann did a great job leading the film. He have a lot of talent and will do well when Hollywood discovers him and he gets his chance in big budget films.
    A lot of tanks and WW2 toys in this film ,more the never Saving private Ryan, I was impressed at a small budget film could do so much on a small budget.

  2. This is an awful film. The story is stupid and uncompelling. The acting is beyond bad. The actor playing one German officer had a thick, incomprehensible accent (whatever it was, it wasn’t German). A surprising number of actors playing supposedly young, fit soldiers were seriously overweight. What an embarrassment.

  3. I like military action movies, particularly World War II, and thought this would be an interesting one to rent. I think the director did well considering the limited budget the film appears to have, and it became obvious that re-enactors were used as extras and for bit parts, considering how big (fat, actually) some of the soldiers here and there were, particularly those playing American GIs. The other thing that gave away the re-enactors was the advanced age (white and gray hair!) for several of the soldiers throughout, again especially on the GI side. Some of the US infantry looked like they were in their 60s, no joke. It was also interesting to see that they made an effort to get authentic, and from the looks, mostly original WWII vehicles, both German and American. However, it became obvious that there were actually only one or two of some of the vehicles, particularly a Russian tank early on in the film with “36” painted on the turret. It was amazing how many times “another” Russian tank would appear, even after the first or second one with “36” was blown up or otherwise destroyed. They could have spent a few extra bucks to CGI the number or paint out the number. But I have to tell you that I could have let all that go. The real downer in the film, very distracting, was the lead female actress and love interest. From the first scene she appeared in, there appeared something wrong with her lips, as they appeared grossly over-sized, especially her lower lip. Even my girlfriend commented “What happened to her lips!?” To us, it appeared she had cosmetic surgery trying to puff out her lips, but the job was not the best. Her big lips were jarring every time she appeared, and for some reason, they were painted a bright red, even in the grungy battle scenes. Additionally, the D-Day portion of the film was very disappointing, as there wasn’t even the slightest attempt to suggest a massed beach landing. At least they could have done minimal CGI to create ships on the horizon, etc. They literally had a couple of landing craft, and in every scene on the beachhead, the seas were completely empty behind the soldiers in the foreground. It was the most empty-looking D-Day beachhead I have ever seen in a film.I enjoy most war films, but I have to say I was mostly disappointed. It had its moments, but I would not rent it again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *