#EditorChoice 7 Days In Entebbe Movie Review
Story: A gritty and artistic retelling of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane by Palestinian and German terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda. Israeli government and armed forces stage a far-fetched mission to rescue their citizens.
The Israel-Palestine conflict has been going on since the late 40s and that’s the perfect setup for filmmaker José Padilha, whose films (Elite Squad, RoboCop) have always carried a strong political undertone. With 7 Days In Entebbe, José tries to comment on the conflict and the irony around it. The story kicks off in Athens as two German militants Böse (Daniel Brühl) and Kuhlmann (Rosamund Pike) and a bunch of Palestinian freedom fighters hijack an Air France plane. They take the plane and it’s French, Israeli and other European passengers to Entebbe airport in Uganda, where the eccentric Idi Amin (Nonso Anozie) and his forces help out in keeping the hostages captive. The setup is quite thrilling and intriguing. The film also features two parallel tracks – one featuring a Batsheva Dance Company member played by Zina Zinchenko and her boyfriend and Israeli special-ops soldier (Ben Schnetzer). The other track features the then Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his cabinet led by Defence Minister Shimon Peres (Eddie Marsan) coming up with a far-fetched plan to rescue the hostages. The multiple tracks of the story create a bit of an unnecessary distraction.
The hostage drama unfolding at Entebbe airport has a lot going for it. Idi Amin’s eccentricities and the melancholy and conflict between Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike and their Palestinian partners make for some good drama. While the dance troupe’s performance added some thump to the proceedings it just feels a little too ambiguous and obscure. The office drama between the Israeli PM and his ministers and military advisors just doesn’t add any thrill to the narrative. Brühl and Pike the film with genuine emotional moments. Eddie Marson gives a robust performance as well. The only major hiccup is the deliberate slow pace of the film. It takes a little too much time to show the passage of time at Entebbe airport as the seven days slowly build up the tension in the hostage situation.
7 Days In Entebbe has some interesting moments from the past featuring ex-Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his elder brother Yoni Netanyahu. For those who follow world politics and the Middle-East closely, this film offers compelling insights with strong artistic sensibilities.