Ever since Saving Private Ryan came out, there has been a rebirth in the World War II movie craze. But this film, by far, is the best ever created. There is no other movie more accurate or compelling as this German film.
From the scene of Hitler giving a metal to a Hitler Youth tank buster (taken and recreated from actual footage during Hitler’s last days) to Adolf’s withering health and appearance as the largest war in history came to a close, this film shows what the tyrant’s life was like. No other movie can optimize the destruction that this war caused. No other movie has hosted a better actor to illustrate Hitler’s speech patterns, gestures, voice, and fantasies for a Reich built on blood and oil.
This film truly places a face on the man who industrialized murder. A prominent scene that illustrates this, I believe, is when Hitler is looking at a model of what was suppose to be the capitol building of Germania–a symbol of the thousand year Reich. Such a longing this failed artist had to leave his mark on history like that of Napoleon Bonaparte or the Prussian King Frederick the Great. This dream for Germania (Berlin), however, was reduced to mere rubble as the film portrays throughout scenes gravitating around the Battle of Berlin. Yet you see how heartless the Fuhrer really is when he explains that all the destruction that has occurred over Berlin will simply make things easy to clear away in order to build his Germania.
Ironic enough, some scenes were actually comedic it in a very dark way. There’s a scene when the soon-to-be leader of the Berlin defenses is deemed a traitor and is ordered to be executed for desertion. This was a misunderstanding since the officer had not left the front lines at all. In order to clear his name, the movie shows the soldier walk away from the horrid battlefield down into the Fuhrer bunker where he diligently reports with the Reich in order to be executed. Since the misunderstanding was cleared up and almost because he was there at the time, he was promoted to take charge of the Berlin defenses. The man would have rather been shot as a traitor.
Never underestimate German submission to protocol.
By the movie’s end, top military officers are betraying their Fuhrer while he makes plans for suicide. Everyone else is getting as drunk as possible. After the recently married Hitler’s (Eva Braun being the wife) commit suicide, the rest that remains of the Reich’s henchmen also contemplate suicide rather than face the judgment of a war ravaged Soviet army. Films of World War II will always come and go, but nothing compares to Downfall. Though, at first I thought the title to be a bit too epic and self-indulging, I have come to realize that the movie deserves such a title. This film is an epic.