The Eichmann Show (2015)
Starring: Martin Freeman, Anthony LaPaglia and Nicholas Woodeson
Directed by: Paul Andrew Williams
A dramatisation of the televised trial of Adolf Eichmann who was a key figure in the organisation of The Holocaust. The story focuses on the trial itself as well as the television producer who made it all possible for the world to watch and listen to the horror of what happened to the Jews at the hands of the Nazi’s.
The Eichmann Show felt like two different movies that were mixed together. One movie which uses a lot of the actual footage from the Adolf Eichmann trials which shows how icy and heartless Eichmann was as well as showing a harrowing video clip of the treatment of the Jews inside concentration camps. This part of the movie was truly gripping and was something that would really hook you in to an extent that you couldn’t look away from the screen, even if all that was being shown was Adolf Eichmann in his glass booth just cold heartedly staring as some of the survivors giving their first hand accounts of life at a concentration camp. The use of the actual footage was a great decision as I don’t think an actor would be able to display such raw pain and emotion as the surviving Jews did during the trial.
If The Eichmann Show continued with wholly focusing on Adolf Eichmann and his trial then this movie would’ve been a fantastic movie. Unfortunately, the movie strayed away quite often to focus on the producer and director of the courtroom footage that was getting sent around the world so reveal the extent of the atrocities committed against the Jews by the Nazi’s. Producer Milton Fruchtman was played by Martin Freeman while the director, Leo Hurwitz, was played by Anthony LaPaglia. While Hurwitz was trying to focus on showing Eichmann’s emotion in order to showcase that anybody, given the circumstances can commit such heinous crimes but it was Fruchtman who seemed more focused on viewership and ratings more than anything and I found this took the focus away Adolf Eichmann and placed it on the television producer. For me it felt like a missed opportunity to make more people aware of Adolf Eichmann and the role he played in the Holocaust. Everybody knows the key figures within the Nazi regime that were responsible for the appalling war crimes that took place but for me at least Eichmann isn’t a familiar name and this movie needed to focus solely on him for educational purposes more than anything but also as his trial created the most emotional response from me which allowed me to get fully invested into the story. The focus on the director and producer just took the edge off of the overall story.
Both Freeman and LaPaglia did offer some good performances though despite my reservations about their huge involvement. LaPaglia delivered a wonderful emotionally charged performance which saw his character be on he brink of breaking down in tears while listening to the survivors testimonies. Martin Freeman was solid too and while not being as expressive with his emotions they were still clear to see as the trial developed and the threats to himself and his family intensified.
Overall, The Eichmann Show was a good movie which could’ve been a great deal better had focus solely remained on Adolf Eichmann and the trial as opposed to the story of the television producers.