3 StarsNormandy 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