He played the good doctor’s protégé in Victor Frankenstein, a missing person in Now You See Me 2 and a hilariously reanimated corpse in Swiss Army Man.
Imperium is Daniel Radcliffe’s 10th movie role (thereabouts) since 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Just like Mark Hamill and Elijah Wood who yearn to be differentiated from their iconic yet stigmatising roles of Luke Skywalker and Frodo Baggins, so has Radcliffe toiled to demonstrate that his acting range stretches far beyond that of his work in and as Harry Potter.
Imperium granted the 27-year-old thespian a capacious opportunity to showcase his range, which warranted him to first portray a withdrawn and restrained deskbound FBI agent, who agrees to go undercover as a perceptive and confrontational Aryan supremacist.
Radcliffe, like any method actor desiring to prove his dedication, jumped at the opportunity to shave his head on camera.
The setups of the film’s various figures is scintillating, as it introduces the viewer to its would-be heroes and villains, masterminds and fall-guys, voices of reason and barking mad men. This invitation to anticipate the intentions of each character, cunningly sucks cinemagoers in and dangles them by a thread when suspense-saturated scenes come to climatic heads.
Imperium has its light-hearted moments too, which include a cameo by swastika-spangled cupcakes and the alignment of Jesus and Hitler portraits.
The exasperated, anxious and nervous emotions that Radcliffe masterfully conveyed as a pre-pubescent diviner in the Harry Potter dynasty are reapplied flawlessly, at the thresholds of Imperium’s most tense tipping points and accentuating its nail-biting twists.
Radcliffe, a deft actor who plays a death-defying actor who is hell-bent on foiling homeland terrorist plots, put on a perfect performance in a motion picture destined to go down as one of our era’s epics.
Imperium is a timely movie that puts into perspective how the United States of America might change if a minority-loathing leader were to come into power, and juxtaposes him with Adolf Hitler.
Directed by Daniel Ragussis
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Running time: 109 minutes
Rating: 4/5 stars