“We’ve got some Nazi to hunt” is the driving force of the new German Netflix original Blood and Gold. It is 1945, the second world war is coming to an end, and the SS soldiers are desperate to get their hands on anything valuable before they are forced to submit to the Allies. The film follows an SS troop that arrives at Sonnenberg to hunt for buried Jewish gold. Along with the treasure hunt, the SS soldiers were also after a defector who refused to continue fighting. A spaghetti western-ish action comedy, Blood and Gold, brings in the absurdity of wartime. Humorous and bloody at the same time, this Netflix original is worth a casual watch.
Heinrich, a Nazi private, deserted his post and was hunted by SS soldiers. After dodging bullets multiple times, Heinrich was ultimately captured and prepared for hanging. We get to know that he deflected not to protect himself but to reunite with his daughter. Heinrich had lost his wife and son to the war, and he desperately wanted to hold on to his baby girl. With the noose around his neck, Heinrich had given up, but fate had some other plans for him. After the soldiers left, a village girl rescued Heinrich. She brought him home and helped him heal his wounds.
Even though Heinrich and Elsa did not know each other, they had one thing in common— they hated the Nazis. Soon the soldiers came knocking at Elsa’s house. They ransacked the place, made fun of her brother, Paule, and tried to force themselves on Elsa. Heinrich was hiding to protect himself, but he soon realized it was time to face them and teach them a lesson. Heinrich and Elsa made a great team, and they managed to smack, kill, and slit enough Nazis to scare them away. Since it was not safe for Elsa and Paule to stay in their house, they decided to accompany Heinrich and thus began their journey together, fighting the Nazis every step of the way. The Nazis are not just after Heinrich; their goal is to find the hidden Jewish gold. After arriving at the village and going through the burned property, the Nazis realize that there is more to the story. With the Allies breathing down their necks, the Nazis barely had any time left. With a private to take care of and gold to steal, the Nazis have a lot on hand. You cannot expect logic and realistic possibilities in Blood and Gold. The action sequences are intense, bloody, and thoroughly enjoyable.
The characters are quite intriguing as well. We have the Western hero, Heinrich— a defector who is ready to go to extreme lengths to reunite with his family. Heinrich’s selflessness is what makes him a hero. He did not have to fight the fights of strangers, but he was grateful to Elsa for saving his life, and in return, he tried his best to protect her and Paule. Heinrich and Elsa were neither friends nor lovers; they had the same enemy, and they were determined to take them down. Elsa is as much the hero of Blood and Gold as is Heinrich. She is fearless and a natural when it comes to operating weapons. She had the courage to storm in and blow up a church to protect a man she barely knew but developed an undefinable relationship with. Heinrich and Elsa’s fight gradually shifted from being personal to societal once they figured out that there was gold involved in it. When it comes to the villains, Blood and Gold offers us two distinct types: the brains behind the show, the Lieutenant Colonel, and his almost invincible sergeant, Dorfler. With a crooked sense of emotional recompensation and the golden mask covering half his face, the Lieutenant Colonel unleashes the terror. Though he is a minor inconvenience when compared to Sergeant Dorfler, Dorfler is one of those villains that you can never be completely sure of being done with. Along with the heroes and villains, the preacher and the widow are interesting additions to the drama.
After watching the Finnish World War II spaghetti western, Sisu, last week, I cannot help but compare Blood and Gold with it. The time period, the plot, and the absurdity make it an obvious comparison, but of course, when it comes to the characters and the stylistic approach, there is a stark difference. The characters are more human, and it is not the heroic tale of one man. Directed by Peter Thorwarth, Blood and Gold is action-packed and entertaining. The chase felt a little stretched in between, but the ending made up for the shortcoming. The film captures the lack of meaning attached to actions and sacrifices—a general banality of life that was palpable after the Second World War. Blood and Gold is, of course, not the best when it comes to the genre, but it is a decent attempt that will manage to keep the audience hooked till the end.
At the beginning of Blood and Gold, the Nazis had two objectives: they wanted to find the gold, and they had to punish the defector, but eventually, the two objectives got muddled up together. Friendship is built in the most impossible of situations based on the common hatred for Nazis, which ultimately adds to the film’s charm. Robert Maaser as Heinrich delivered a powerful performance, and Marie Hacke was brilliant as Elsa. The overall performance of the cast was powerful and convincing. For fans of gore, Blood and Gold has a lot to offer. The visual effects were quite convincing as well, especially the collapse of the church. Blood and Gold is an entertaining comedy action film that is not meant to be taken seriously. The film does not intend to be an intellectual piece of art; it is meant for amusement and laughter.