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Flame & Citron

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Why should the French Resistance hog all the cinematic derring-do? As Ole Christian Madsen’s thriller reminds us, the similarly occupied Denmark had its own collective of clandestine freedom fighters. In fact, the nation’s underground movement took pride in including two bona fide anti-Nazi icons: the red-haired Bent Faurschou-Hviid, known as Flame (Lindhardt), and Jrgen Schmith, whose perpetual sourpuss earned him the nickname Citron (Mikkelsen). This duo carried out assassinations on high-ranking collaborators, making them the Gestapo’s public enemies eins und zwei. Their story also conveniently provides Madsen with the ingredients for a ripping Resistance yarn: betrayals, double (and possibly triple) agents and, above all, men in trench coats exchanging furtive glances and gunfire.

It’s hard to argue with such primal filmgoing pleasures, especially once the film introduces notions of how good people lose their morality during wartime. What’s easier to take issue with is the way Flame & Citron gradually comes apart at the seams, especially in regard to Flame’s compromising affair with a femme fatale (Stengade). The movie also sells out its impressive restraint for cheap thrills in several crucial moments; history dealt certain characters some bum hands, but making one of them go out in an outrageously hyped, Tony Montana--style blaze feels like dramatic treason.—David Fear

Opens Fri.

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