Flame and Citron (Flammen and Citronen) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/03/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 136 mins

Impressively directed, sharply written wartime thriller with strong performances from its two leads, though it drags considerably in the middle section and is at least 30 minutes too long.

What's it all about?
Based on a true story, Flame and Citron (or Flammen and Citronen, original title fans) is directed by Ole Christian Madsen and stars Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen as Danish resistance fighters Flame and Citron. Tasked with assassinating both Nazis and Danish collaborators, Flame experiences doubt for the first time when he engages in conversation with one of his targets (Hanns Zischler as Colonel Gilbert) and decides to let him go.

Things get worse when suspicion falls on Flame's girlfriend, Ketty Selmer (Stine Stengade), leading both Flame and Citron to distrust their ostensible boss, police lawyer Winther (Peter Mygind). Unsure of who to trust, Flame and Citron turn their attentions to assassinating Gestapo chief Hoffmann (the excellent Christian Berkel) but events quickly spiral out of control.

The Good
The film is beautifully shot, with crisp cinematography courtesy of Jorgen Johansson. Similarly, director Ole Christian Madsen stages several impressive action sequences, including an extremely tense shoot-out in a bar and a frantic kill-or-be-killed confrontation in the street.

The performances are superb – Lindhardt gives the tiniest suggestion that Flame might be enjoying the killing just a little too much, while Mikkelsen imbues Citron with a suitably world-weary air and you can sense his discomfort as he moves from being essentially Flames's getaway driver to being pulled into actual killing.

The Bad
The biggest problem is that the film drags considerably in the middle section and eventually outstays its lengthy running time. The plot also becomes confusing at times, as it gets increasingly difficult to tell which side all the supporting characters are on.

Worth seeing?
In short, Flame and Citron is an impressively directed, beautifully shot and well acted thriller, though the pace flags in the middle section and you may find yourself looking at your watch at around the 100 minute mark.

Film Trailer

Flame and Citron (Flammen and Citronen) (15)
Flame and Citron (Flammen and Citronen) has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 16/10/2017 23:04

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