Tag Archives: Alexandre Desplat

My Thoughts on: Operation Finale (2018)

It feels like an eternity since I last went to the theater but yesterday I finally managed to go see Operation Finale, a dramatized account of how Mossad agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1960. The film is partially sourced from Eichmann in My Hands, a memoir by Peter Malkin (played by Oscar Isaac in the film) and primarily takes place in 1960 (with a prologue in 1954 and an epilogue in 1961).

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First let me say, if you come into this film expecting a lot of action (fighting, shootouts, etc.) then you are going to be disappointed. While there is an air of tension throughout the story (especially in the latter half of the film when the agents are trying to smuggle Eichmann out of Argentina), it doesn’t really express itself with direct violence.

Oscar Isaac does a passable job as Mossad agent Peter Malkin though I’m not entirely satisfied with his performance. In my opinion Isaac makes too many wisecracks throughout the film and they feel out of character. However, I have no complaints for the scenes Isaac shares with Ben Kingsley, they are some of the best moments in the film. And speaking of Kingsley…

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Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann is by far the best part of Operation Finale (as I suspected he would be). Eichmann (as Kingsley portrays him), is a man who has thoroughly convinced himself of how things ‘actually’ happened during the Nazi regime. He worked at a desk, nothing more. The truth, however, is revealed by what we see. Even as Eichmann peddles this falsehood, we the audience see him traveling into the woods to oversee hundreds of Jews being murdered in a ditch. And despite his age, Eichmann remains very dangerous, as seen in a moment when he stops his son Klaus (Joe Alwyn) from manhandling Sylvia (Haley Lu Richardson), a girl he’d met a movie theater. In one swift motion he goes from being an affable father to an angry figure that has no trouble pinning Klaus against the wall.

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Before the credits start, the audience is shown footage from Eichmann’s actual trial in Israel (including footage of the man himself) and explains how the trial helped to share eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust with a global audience, concluding with a note that the real Peter Malkin died in 2005.

I enjoyed Alexandre Desplat’s score for this film, it wasn’t too overbearing and it helped to keep the tension in the story going.

Anyone who really loves WWII history should enjoy Operation Finale, but casual fans might not enjoy it so much as the film does take a while to really get going.

What did you think of Operation Finale? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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Alexandre Desplat talks Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

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Alexandre Desplat talks Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

I know the Harry Potter films are very popular, so what I’m about to say will probably shock you: I’ve only seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (and a few scenes from The Chamber of Secrets). I was simply never able to get into the Harry Potter films the way my friends were (knowing that they seriously diverged from the books didn’t help). I do mean to watch them all someday though.

Though I haven’t seen most of them, I do remember when the news broke that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be split into two films. I wasn’t that surprised by the news, the last book was so huge that it would’ve been nearly impossible to jam everything into a single film. Therefore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was released in 2010, while Part 2 was released the following year.

The film follows Harry and his friends as they attempt to seek and destroy the Horcruxes that contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul (and thereby make him immortal). At the same time, Voldemort is plotting to kill Harry and he also seeks the Elder Wand (one of the “Deathly Hallows”, the others being the Cloak of Invisibility and the Resurrection Stone).

The music for this film and its sequel was composed by Alexandre Desplat, making him the fourth composer to provide music for this film series (John Williams composed for the first three films, Patrick Doyle for the fourth and Nicholas Hooper for films five and six).Desplat is an accomplished composer, having written the scores for The Golden Compass, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Argo and the upcoming Rogue One (among many other films).

In this interview clip found above, we are given a look at the recording of the score during post-production, with Desplat and several producers giving insight into how the score was put together, and what it was like working with a new composer.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about the score of this film. Enjoy the weekend!

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Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Nicholas Hooper “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” scoring session (2009)

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*poster image is the property of Warner Bros. Pictures