I have seen the thumbnail which is the featured image of this post on Netflix many times. When I look at this image I feel anxious and the desire to watch a thrilling movie. What are they hiding from? Why do they look so frightened? Why is he holding a camera? Emma Watson is really hot. All of these thoughts enter my mind when looking at this picture making it a great marketing tool. Unfortunately this thumbnail is much better than the movie it is taken from. It was late on New Year’s Eve when my friends and I made the desperate search for something to watch. After exploring through every streaming app that I have on my fire stick, we landed on Colonia.
This movie stars Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame, Daniel Bruhl known for his role in Inglorious Basterds, and Michael Nyquist who I have seen in Europa Report and John Wick. It focuses on the true events in 1970’s Chile where a “Dignity Colony” was created as a front for a torture and detention compound during the Pinochet reign in Chile. Bruhl’s character is detained and tortured at this facility for his “crimes” of protesting the government, and Watson’s character goes to the colony to find him (they are lovers). From there she learns about the peculiar and cruel religious nature of the colony and does everything she can to find and escape with her love.
It didn’t take long for my friends and me to realize that this is not a good movie. The acting wasn’t great citing Watson’s performance as the weakest while Nyquist’s was the strongest. It’s not that I don’t believe that the horrendous events in this movie didn’t happen or aren’t super messed up, it’s just that I didn’t care. I recognized the points in the movie where I was supposed to feel anxious but all I felt was the pain in my hip from laying on the floor and the gurgling in my small intestine processing all of the pizza I ate.
The movie lacked the genuine feelings that thrillers need to generate the anxiety that makes them interesting. I know I was supposed to hate certain characters and feel bad for others, but I couldn’t find any emotion for them. Either I was really out of my element while watching this movie or the director did a terrible job of setting up the mood and high stakes of the situations.
The internet and Wikipedia searches about Chile and Paul Schafer (the man Nyquist portrays) after watching this movie was the most interesting thing that came from Colonia. The events that this movie is based on are definitely intriguing and worthy of being made into a feature film, it’s just that director Florian Gallenberger and his crew didn’t take advantage of it.
Watch it for yourself but I think my negative opinion of the movie is more than just having a lack of seating in my house and a stomach ache.