Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Downfall begins in 1942 whereby Hitler summons a group of girls to be interviewed to become his secretary. When he breifly quizzes them, he finds one is from Munich, where he was from, and hires her after a brief typing test.
The story itself is put together using her diaries which gives a unique insight into those who surrounded themselves with their leader including sychophants and those too scared to oppose him. It depicts the fall of Berlin and Hitlers increasing paranoia as his dream crumbles around him - literally and methaphorically.
Intrigingly, the film shows Hitlers various facades; as a furious and manic leader often breaking into histerics when things aren't going his way but also his compassionate side when he realises he is doomed and instructs those close to him to leave Berlin while they can.
The film also contains some heart wrenching momments as those who realise that the Russians are too close to escape make the decision to end their life rather than face trial for war crimes. In one particularly emotional scene, the wife of a general gives her children a sleeping toxin before popping a cyanide pill into their mouths and joins her husband outside the bunker to be shot by him before killing himself and their bodies set on fire to remove all trace of existance.
The film is very character driven, largely ignoring the battle raging above the bunker, instead focusing on those who decide to remain or are forced to remain because of their age, wounds or alligience.
It highlights Hitler as a broken man losing his grip on reality as he demands that his men move soldiers that do not exist while maintaining a life-as-usual attitude despite the impending doom and failure of his dream of uniting all Arayans.
The film itself is compelling and and demands attention to detail. The acting is excellent and the director has assembled a great cast capable of portraying the characters situation and personal feelings towards their leader and cause.
I would give this film 4.5 bunkers out of 5.



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