Posted on 3/10/11 07:22 PM
An utterly compelling depiction of the last days of history's most villainous and vilified figure. Bruno Ganz's depiction of Hitler is nothing short of perfection. He inhabits the character with believable conviction and spot-on mannerisms, giving us a powerful vision of a man completely disconnected from reality. Hitler's follies in his last days, such as ordering armies to move that didn't exist and not taking no for an answer, are a central theme.
The Hitler we see here is also rather different from what you might expect from a more mainstream film. He is not totally portrayed as the devil incarnate, but rather is shown, not just in raving insanity, but also in his more human moments. He is a perfect gentleman with the women who audition to be his new secretary.
Also key to the movie is Hitler's staff, namely his chief military officers, who must constantly deal with Hitler's disconnect from reality, questioning if they should continue to serve such a man.
Nothing has been said about Nazi Germany that hasn't been said a million times, but Der Untergang, masterfully shot and historically gripping, is a film well worth seeing.