Invincible Film Details
Overview: A Jewish strongman performs in Berlin as the blond Aryan hero Siegfried.
Review: If the name of the director, Werner Herzog, frightens you into believing that Invincible is a ‘difficult’ movie, I am happy to inform you of the direct opposite: It is direct, easily digested and tells a straight story based on real people and events. The events are somewhat adjusted for making this into a tighter story about the Jewish strongman Zishe Breitbart and his great career in the Nazi-Berlin of the 1930’s. Zishe is convinced that he is chosen by God to save Judaism from Hitler. I try to keep this text free from so called spoilers (giving away the story other than what should be known) since I like to experience the storyline for myself and not having it unwittingly told straight up and down. One of recent examples of this is when Matt Drudge gives away the ending of this summers big action adventure in USA, ‘Planet of the Apes’. Jouko Ahola, the Moviestar This is Jouko Aloha’s screen début, and he plays the central part as the Jewish blacksmith Zishe Breitbart, whose enormous strength is ‘discovered’ by a talents scout during a circus performance. Jouko is not a trained actor, but was chosen by the director as solid raw material to be shaped into the part. Not having Jouko ‘acting’ as the others gives his role as the simple, naïve man from the polish countryside better reality. We actually see and feel him feeling lost in the big city, not being accustomed to playing the role of an entertainer, and unwilling to play the social game that all of the others engage in. Jouko possesses an charisma and physical presence seldom seen on screen with his strength and popularity Zishe could easily sink into the swamp of egoism surrounding him. But he walks undamaged through it all and the further the movie plays the purer his character shines. I am who I am, says Zishe. It grows more clear what was meant with the God-given gift of his great physical power, a strength many times that an ordinary blacksmith could ever need. His conclusion is that he is to be the Modern Samson, chosen to save the Jewish community from the catastrophe he sense coming. Will he succeed in persuading his fellow people…? The weights and props used were real, and the hardest parts were not the demonstrations of strength. We only had to shoot the 350 kilo deadlift three or four times, Jouko tells in an interview for the Swedish ‘filmkonst magasin’. But the scene where Zishe is reunited with his mother and brother in Berlin took 24 takes to complete… I’m pleased with my acting, everyone was very kind and helpful if I had trouble. As for other film projects, it depends on what happens with this movie. But I won’t be sad if nothing comes out if it. The Pianist and the Hollywood stars The female leading part, also a debut, as the pianist Marta, assistant to Hanussen, is a solid performance by Anna Gourari. Marta is trapped by Hanussen and Zishe becomes the support she needs for her liberation. Anna is considered to be one of our times most talented pianists, and thus it is not strange that Beethoven’s third concert for piano gets to play a big part. The most famous actor is undoubtedly Tim Roth (who actually was latest seen as General Thade in ‘Planet of the Apes’). Roth takes wide strides playing his part as the hypnotist/clairvoyant Erik Jan Hanussen (but not as over-the-top as ‘Archibald Cunningham’ in ‘Rob Roy’ – if such a thing is possible, I don’t know). Giving Hanussen megalomania, colossal arrogance and selfsecureness is quite right since it was this no-holes-barred-attitude that led the real Hanussen to the great success he had a the ‘Leader of the Occult’. Through his career as soothsayer Hanussen became richer and more powerful than most people can dream of. At the peak his show in Berlin was constantly sold out and he had rich bankers, movie stars and politicians of Nazi-Germany following his advice, one if which was voting for Hitler. With his close connections to high-ranking party officials he could at an séance ‘predict’ the fire who was to destroy the German House of Parliament. (The burning of the Reichstag is considered to be a planned act, a part of the plan limiting civil rights. Freedom of Press, amongst other things, was abolished the day after the fire.) Udo Kier, a well known face for most, got his part as Count Helldorf especially written for him by the director. Udo would give the most degenerate character outlandish style – which is also done here in a most telling scene, where the directors message in words is most clear.
Country: UK, Germany, Ireland, USA
Duration: 133 min
Genre: Drama, War
Also known as: Invencible,A legyőzhetetlen,La leyenda del invencible,Invencível,Invincible,The Invincible – Voittamaton,Unbesiegbar,Nepobediv,Ανίκητος,L’invincible,神に選ばれし無敵の男,Niezwyciężony,Непобедимият,Непобедимый,Nenugalimasis,Invincibile