Sunday, 21 February 2010
Downfall (Der Untergang) 
Call Adolf Hitler a genius, a few people will grudgingly agree; call him a twisted genius with the ability to mind-wash people, and a lot more will agree; but try and paint him as a human being, and, as a critic aptly observed, you’re certain to face a lot of backlash. It is nearly impossible to imagine him as a three-dimensional man of flesh and blood, but director Oliver Herschbiegel attempted just that in this audacious feature. The emotion that plays the strongest role in the movie is paranoia, as sociopaths like Goebbels, and well, the Fuhrer too, and their more practical counterparts like Himmler who are aware that the Nazi regime's downfall is imminent, are painted with meticulous detail over the last 10 days of Hitler’s life. The director covered a plethora of characters and events by broadening the movie’s scope, though personally I would have preferred the movie to remain just what it started with – an intimate portrayal of the man who, on one hand, turned Germany into a raging superpower, while on the other, perpetrated such monstrosities that make people shudder even after over 60 years of his joint suicide with his wife/mistress Eva Braun at his bunker. Any personification of Hitler inevitably turns into parody, and here’s where Bruno Ganz has succeeded in his chilling and volcanic recreation of the complex leader of the German war machine and the madman who will go down in history as one of the most hideous villains known to mankind.
Director: Oliver Herschbiegel
Genre: Drama/Historical Drama/Epic/Biopic