Just time for one today:
Son of Saul (Hun) (wiki)
In among some kitchen decorating I found myself with a few hours free without a little one to look after, and my interest was piqued by this one. Billed as a Bourne-style tense thriller set in Auschwitz, where a battered and domesticated Jewish Sonderkommando 'dedicates himself to one last desperate act of moral redemption'. Thinking this would involve a righteous amount of hot lead justice at some nasty Nazis, I made time to get back to Leeds - this could be a pretty exciting watch.
Son of Saul is not without it's atmosphere. For much of the 2 hours runtime you are looking over Saul's shoulder as he is harried from one chaotic, horrible job to another. Showing us in flashes the rendering process of bodies and possessions from end to end. Saul's 'moral redemption' act is all the more staggering that he managed to do what he did in the midst of it all without getting killed in all manner of ways. As a film highlighting the remaining fragments of humanity in a situation where it has been all but eradicated this film excels.
What spoiled it for me was my expectation; which not for the first time led me to spend some considerable portion of the film expecting something to happen that would never come, and I would leave disappointed. Saul never gets a gun and goes off on a killing spree, his entirety is reduced from average human to that of a defeated mule that somehow is encouraged to surreptitiously rebel in the only way his broken self can with the life spirit he has remaining.
It is thus a difficult film to score. Certainly, you should not watch this film expecting action thrills and a good tingly feeling that justice will be served. Forget Bourne, don't expect Saul to snap and go mental with the bad guys, and instead expect a more moralistic work that when approached correctly will deliver a powerful punch to the gut. I wish I could have seen it a first time over again with a different mindset. 7.5/10