Wednesday, 9 January 2008

WW II Movies

Been watching quite a few World War II movies off late. Schindler's List, The Pianist and The Downfall. Hard to compare all the 3, since they're totally different in all aspects, but I'll try to give you my opinion about these Movies.

Schindler's List

Finally got an opportunity to watch this movie. The first time I started to watch it, it was 4 in the morning, I slept by the time the colour turned to b/w. The next time was minutes before I had to go out. But this time, I made sure nothing interrupted it and I finished watching it.

The way Spielberg has handled this character is a marvellous study by its own. Oskar Schindler has power, money, emotion, prestige, courage, sarcasm, appeal, brains and good looks. What more could a guy ask for. Well, the way he's been potrayed, it would make you feel very very conscious about who you are and what exactly you are doing. And at the end of the movie, you'll thank him like you were one of the 1100 Jews that he bought (saved).

The story, the Screenplay (Powerful, Spielberg style) and the Characterization is immaculate.

But where the movie finds itself wanting is when it comes to showing those scenes where the Jews are tortured. I just felt that it was over-shown, I know that's not even a word, but I guess you understand what I mean. If the scene was for say 30 seconds, cutting it down to 25 seconds would've made quite a remarkable change. That's about the only complaint I've got against the Movie.

My Rating: 8.6/10
IMDb: 8.8/10

The Pianist

Ever since I watched this movie about a week ago, I've been searching all over for some good Polanski movies. I can't believe I haven't seen any other movie of his. After IMDbing a bit, I've got Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby lined up. If you've got any suggestions, into the Comment Box.

The movie is really moving and disturbing to a certain extent. I've never realized Adrian Brody could be such a brilliant actor, but I guess such a Director can get that out of anyone.

The lead is a Pianist who plays Chopin (Treat guaranteed for the ear if you're a Western Classical Lover like me, :D) and earns money but is also a Jew. So this is his story of how he escapes the Gas Chambers and how he turns into something similar to a rodent just to survive. And the relationship he shares with a certain German Officer is enough to make you feel sentimental about him. His reactions, when he finds out that the Officer was arrested and how he was unable to help him, are priceless. On the Negative side, I guess the story could've been shorter, guess the depression scenes was way too depressing to be actually depressing, if you know what I mean.

My Rating: 8.9/10
IMDb: 8.5/10

The Downfall

This is probably one of the few movies to approach the War from Hitler's side. This doesn't talk about concentration camps and the genocide, but about the last few days of his life. Its tragic to see that Hitler had to meet such an end. Suicide due to defeat in war was obviously inevitable. But the thought of Hitler being betrayed by his own men when he could've won the War had they listened to him, was pretty disturbing. No matter how bad/evil he was, he deserved to die better.

The lead actor's performance as Hitler is awesome. If only there were Oscars for foreign actors. The occasional bursts of anger, the subtle change in mannerisms as he knows more about the treachery is very very painstakingly perfected. Picture perfect performance if you ask me.

While not talking about the Genocide at all is a good move cinematically speaking, had those scenes been shown on screen, it would've resulted in the audience hating Hitler more and hence feeling more sorry for him during his last minutes. Of course, logically speaking, lot of controversies have been avoided thanks to the Director's resort to talk only about the after-effects of Allies' entry into Berlin. In fact, the movie starts with the Bombing of Berlin by the Allied Forces.

My Rating: 9.1/10
IMDb: 8.5/10

For someone who hasn't read about the World Wars in School History, these 3 movies was certainly an eye-opener. :)

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