The old saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” has never been more relevant than with this new film set in France during WW2.
Marie DuJardin (Nina Bergman) is a Nazi sympathiser travelling with her Nazi lover, Colonel Von Bruckner (Daniel Bernhardt) when the pair are suddenly ambushed by the French Resistance. Whilst Von Bruckner escapes from the car, Marie shows more of her character as it turns out that the ambush was well orchestrated by herself. Inside the car is a small horde of Nazi gold that both Marie and Von Bruckner are aiming to keep. For Marie, it is for the resistance but Von Bruckner is eyeing it for his own personal gain.
The resistance is shot down as Von Bruckner returns and the film then switches to Marie’s descent from her previous comforts as Von Bruckner’s lover to a national traitor. A victim of Collaboration horizontale, where women who were seen as Nazi collaborators had their hair shaven off and swastikas placed on their foreheads, we then see Marie with a small group of American Soldiers who claim to have liberated her in return for the Nazi gold she claims she buried in a cemetery.
It is here where the mind games begin. Is she telling the truth? Is she stalling for time? Can anyone searching for the gold in the cemetery be fully trusted? This is the conundrum faced by all the parties involved. What we are left with is a collection of characters ravaged by the war in a situation where trust is at a premium.
It would be wrong to go much further with more plot detail as there are further twists and turns along the way but credit must go to the director, Jesse V Johnson, for keeping the pace of this thriller to its optimum. Setting a WW2 thriller predominantly in a small cemetery and establishing a tense atmosphere is a tall order when compared to most war related films.
The limited setting allows the characters to shine. Broken, fragile, and desperate, they represent the harrows of war. The people they once were are now a mere figment of their pasts. They are all jaded by the experience and looking to end their wars in their own ways. Greed, retribution and survival all come into play.
Whilst many I’m sure would love more battle scenes, Hell Hath no Fury has more of a film noir feel about it and for that, it should be praised. At a running time of 90 minutes, it is a good portrayal of character-driven drama. Despite being small in scale it is strong in performances with Nina Bergman in particular excelling as Marie.
This is a film that highlights the desperation of those involved in war and the lengths they will go to survive. Hell Hath no Fury is certainly one to check out in terms of entertainment but it might be an idea to take your history hat off for this one.
Hell Hath No Fury is released on Digital Download and DVD on the 16th May.
Run time: 94 mins
Audio: 2.0 / 5.1 Dolby Digital