Amit Gupta’s Resistance is a wartime drama based on the novel by Owen Sheers, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gupta.
Set in an ‘alternative history’ where D-Day fails and Germany invades the UK, the story takes place in a small Welsh valley which finds itself under occupation by a group of weary German troops lead by Albrecht (Tom Wlaschiha).
Albrecht quickly puts his men at the service of the valley’s women – the men having left ahead of the invasion, presumably to join the resistance – and forms a friendship with Sarah (Andrea Riseborough).
(A note to fans of Michael Sheen, although his involvement in the film has dominated a lot of coverage, he has relatively little screen time and is not the film’s lead.)
Both Wlaschiha and Riseborough excel in their performances, perfectly hitting the nuances of friendship and love and Gupta uses the remote location to great effect.
If you’re looking for something in the line of Fatherland or SS/GB this isn’t the film you want because, despite its setting, Resistance is really an exploration of loyalty, the development of relationships and survival.
The story is told against the backdrop of the Welsh countryside which is showcased in all its gloriously wildness.
Here in the UK we’re blessed with some stunning landscape and natural life but we’re very bad at celebrating it in film. Resistance goes a long way to redress this, using the landscape almost as a third leading character – this story could not be told elsewhere.
Resistance is a fantastic example of tacking a genre – in this ‘war film’ – and doing something totally different with it.
Resistance is released across the UK on 25th November 2011.
Our verdict: 3/5