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Friday, July 8, 2011

291. The Round Up

    It's a part of history which I have never understood. How could so many of the French have turned on their own people in collaboration with the Germans in the Second World War?
    Ok, there was the Resistance and the Gaullists but there were also those police officers who rounded fellow citizens up and sent them to their deaths.
    How could they have slept at night?
    The Round Up touches similar ground to the excellent Army Of Crime which was out a couple of years ago.
    It centres on the Jewish people of Paris who were taken from their homes in the summer of 1942 by a combination of French police and German army.
    Rose Bosch's movie follows them to a velodrome where they were held before moving to a camp and then finally to a train. We all know where that took them.
    The drama particularly surrounds one Jewish family, a Jewish doctor (Jean Reno) and a non-Jewish nurse (Melanie Laurent) who becomes deeply attached to the terrible plight of her patients.
    Bosch's film starts comparatively slowly. The Jews seem in remarkable denial about what is going on around them and the prospect of German arrest, despite having already been segregated by dint of the yellow stars on their clothes.
    Thus, the time in Paris and even in the velodrome is quite mundane and, because the film attacks history chronologically, is not overly dramatic.
    However, the longer the children stay on camera, the more one's heart is tugged and the inevitable denouement will bring a tear to the hardest eye.
    After all, imagine it being your family split to never see each other again.
    Laurent is the pick of the adults. Compassion wrings from her performance.
    But the children grab the most plaudits with newcomer Hugo Leverdez and Oliver Cywie excellent as young best mates and brothers Matieu and Romain Concerto splitting the role of a lovable three-year-old.
    Mrs W, our daughter and I took in a screener of The Round-Up, thanks to Debbie at Aim Publicity.
    We were unanimous in our verdict. We enjoyed it and would give it 7/10.

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291. The Round Up

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