Friday, February 27, 2009


Rating : 4/10
Time : 121 minutes
Director : Bryan Singer; Writer : Christopher McQuarrie & Nathan Alexander
Starring : Tom Cruise, Kenneth Brannagh, Tom Wilkinson

This film is a true story about a failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler during the end of World War II. It’s kind of well put together film, keeping the tension going, with a lovely background score. But there are two crucial flaws for me

First, you never feel anything for the characters. There is no build up / proper story around any of them, no empathy built up and Tom Cruise as Colonel Stauffenburg is also very cut & dried, grimacing, scowling, almost like Abhishek in Drona.

And second, even more importantly for me, I am supposed to feel sympathy for people, who, almost at the end of the war, when its clear they’re about to finish on the losing side, suddenly decide to jump ship and assassinate the guy who brought them that far ? Adolf Hitler came into power in 1934, started WWII in 1939 by attacking a peaceful neighbour (Poland), and also, in the same year began two of his genocide programs killing millions of innocent children in a plan called Action T4 and also the infamous concentration camps devoted to racial cleansing. And it took these conspirators so long to figure out that this guy was bad ? They decided to kill him almost when all was lost and the enemy was at the gates ? There’s another word that exists for such people – cowards / turncoats / rats leaving a sinking ship (the last is actually 5 words). All the grandiose talk (in the film) of showing ‘we will show the rest of the world not all Germans are the same’ was, for me, too little too late. It just didn’t make me feel positively towards these guys. But then I’ve read a lot about Hitler / the concentration camps and WWII – so maybe I am biased already.

There are other points which jar - for example a distinctly British sense of humour amongst people who are supposed to be Germans. But they're small issues in comparison to above.

Watch only if you want to see a tight movie where WWII / Hitler etc mean nothing to you…but in that case you may wonder what its all about…

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