Colonia tells the story of a young woman’s desperate search for her abducted boyfriend that draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody has ever escaped from.
This film falls into the familiar tropes of the genre but not reinventing them or showing them in a good way. The climactic finale didn’t feel so climactic at all, even in with it’s historical events. It could’ve shown us more of the graphicness of what happened and not through the language that was used, as that was disgusting enough. It was more about words than actions and because of that, it sometimes made it a little hard to believe and this was also due to the fact that sometimes the credibility was stretched at times. I definitely didn’t believe the strength of the couple’s relationship as it seemed as flimsy as a piece of discarded rubber.
Although the film highlighted a portion of history that the western world hardly recognised or teaches in history class, the film itself was a poor effort to shed light on such a horrible part of history. There was plenty of intrigue, sure, but the tension and believability of the actors performances and credibility of the stretched events was lacking. Both Daniel Bruhl and Mikael Nyqvist are brilliant actors and it’s a shame to see their talents go to waste, though Bruhl seems to be making poorer choices of late of the films he lends himself to. And I’ve yet to see a film Emma Watson truly shines in and truly commits herself to the role to prove herself, proving to be less of a formidable actress and more of a UN peace warrior.
The depiction of Colonia Dignidad is very far of how a cult operates and could be compared to indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene starring a brilliant Elizabeth Olsen. This brings to questions of the extent of the research the writers put into the project apart from the surface detail they provided and making so much of the dialogue in English when they could’ve done so much more. That and also casting not of the character’s native origin. Colonia Dignidad was supposed to be a self-regulating concentration camp and like many cults, use fear to make their members remain but do the don’t recruit that way. They entice future members and then hold them in place with the most common tactic of fear. There was nothing of the rewards to those who were loyal or worked hard or anything of the like. If all a cult offered was endless misery, it would be a surprise that they were able to recruit anyone!
Sadly, the film falls into its cliches and is unable to revive itself.