Film

Film

by

An exercise not in the banality of evil but the evil of banality, The Aryan Couple sets real-world horrors—the Final Solution, Hungary in 1944, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann—against a baffling fiction. Under the conditions of the Europa Plan, Josef Krauzenberg (Martin Landau), a wealthy Jewish steel magnate, relinquishes his worldly possessions to the Nazis in exchange for his extended family’s safe passage to Palestine. A dinner to seal the deal, attended by Himmler (Danny Webb) and Eichmann (Steven Mackintosh), is prepared chez Krauzenberg, overseen by the titular duo, Hans and Ingrid (Kenny Doughty and Caroline Carver)—loyal servants who are actually Jews working for the resistance. Scored to nonstop lugubrious strings, Daly’s film is littered with dei ex machina, spinning an escape-survival fantasy (and retribution for the diabolical) that’s even more preposterous than the death camp shower scene in Schindler’s List. Alternating between starchy and bromidic, the dialogue abrades with soft political inanities: “You’re Germans, and I’m a Jew. But above all, we’re human,” the regal Mrs. Krauzenberg (Judy Parfitt) nobly declares to Hans and Ingrid. Feel-good historical fiction, The Aryan Couple insultingly seeks to soothe and comfort against the reality of atrocity.