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Good

2

The glamourous life of being in the SS proves to much for one man in wartime Germany

The Germans: surely they weren’t all evil?

That’s the biggie posited in Good, the adaptation of CP Taylor’s 1981 stage play that chronicles the inexorable rise of the Nazis. The clumsy answer here is no, but there’s a suggestion that some of them were perhaps a teensy bit dim.

The piece rests heavily on the broad shoulders of Viggo Mortensen, who has traded bone-crunching, muscular roles for pensive intellectual John Halder, a German everyman who becomes seduced by an SS paycheck and the luxurious trappings of party life.

Halder grows increasingly detached from the grim spectre of the Nazis’ Final Solution and with each whimpering denial comes a tacit agreement to the brutal regime.

Good’s attempts to diagnose the cancerous spread of Nazi influence through Germany’s population in the mid-’30s is laudable, but despite Mortensen’s stoic talents Halder is just too hollow a character for this to be anything other than a vapid parable.

Ali Upham

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