“Flame” and “Citron” are code names for Bent Faurschou-Hviid (Thure Lindhardt) and Jørgen Haagen Schmith (Mads Mikkelsen), a resourceful pair of real-life underground assassins who waged a corpse-for-corpse war of wills with Nazi occupiers and Danish sympathizers in their native Copenhagen in 1944. Like the French Resistance fighters in Melville’s Army of Shadows or the Mossad strike unit in Spielberg’s Munich, these are men who live in a precarious, morally ambiguous world of intrigue and treachery. They are consumed with disgust and rage at the Occupation, and driven by a personal conviction that their actions are not only justifiable, but necessary. Working from their own research and eyewitness interviews, director Ole Christian Madsen and screenwriter Lars K. Andersen memorialize the pair’s heroic efforts utilizing all the conventions of wartime suspense thrillers: noirish atmosphere, cloak-and-dagger tension, double crosses, and devastating reversals. But they are careful to delineate the ways in which these hunted, haunted patriots (both were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor) are manipulated by friend and foe alike, eventually losing their way in a quagmire of moral conflict.
Click here to read the rest of Damon Smith’s review of Flame & Citron.