The movie describes the life of Adolf Hitler from childhood to manhood, and how he became so powerful. It describes his poor childhood in Austria, it describes the first world war from his point of view, and how he became the strongest man in Germany. The movie show us how Hitler turned from a poor soldier into the leader of the Nazis, and how he survived the attempts to kill him. It describes his relationship with his mistress Eva Braun, and his decisions and enemies inside Germany and inside the Nazi party. Written by
Being a fanatical semi-professional historian on WW2, and utterly fascinated by Hitler's third Reich and all it's military power, I could hardly wait for "Hitler; the rise of evil" to come out after having seen the theatrical trailer.
Heavens, I never felt so completely confused about a movie after pushing the 'stop' button on my DVD-player's remote. I simply couldn't decide whether I liked it or not.
First of all, the performances set by Carlyle and companions are quite good. A little over-acted every now and then, especially Carlyle who obviously tries his up-most to copy the "Führer" and his body-language. He acts as if he is in a theatre, and seems to forget the fact that camera's register way more details/facial expressions. Compare a real recording of a Hitler-speech with one of Carlyle's speech-scene's and you'll see what I mean.
Then comes the Historical accuracy. Not quite bad, but I kept noticing small things which obviously were incorrect. Uniforms, weapons, bread-prices, skinny-Röhm, fat Hess... not really impressive job I might say.
but one of the most compelling things about the whole film (or series, I 've seen it as a film) is the fact that it is very obvious the director desperately wants to show the world Hitler was a sick-minded, over-emotional and completely mentally unstable person. Well, I can assure you this: He absolutely had his periods of mental disturbances and ignoring the truth, especially toward the war's end. But this... I have read many, many eye-witness reports from people who lived in his presence, like Albert Speer. They all agreed on some things, namely the facts Adolf Hitler was very often a think full, correct, funny, honorable man. Hitler was the mastermind behind the Nazi's criminal and appalling Holocaust. Hitler was a criminal. A kind of person that can never be allowed to rise to power again. This is obviously the reason why the director choose to show him the way he did. However, Hitler was dangerous not because he was a monster, he was dangerous because he was so intelligent, so well-spoken. Because he was worshipped by so many, because he knew what to say to 'his' people. That was the real danger, and that's exactly what we must teach. Think of it this way: The most successful murderers and big criminals are usually the smart, well-spoken and socially established men. You wouldn't know he is a monster until you see what he has done.
I wish the director/writer added a bit more humanity to his character. But obviously they chose to show the audience Hitler changed from a normal person into a monster. Talking about stereotypes and negligence of the truth.
Overall I still found it an enjoyable movie which does achieve one of it's main goals: portraying us, the crowd, as willing sheep, especially in times of need. Ye be warned.
** Note: One very imposing scene: Hitler speaks out loud his ideas in the court-yard, with Hess recording it. After awhile you get to see a different day every now and then, and every time more and more inmates cheer him from behind their bars overlooking the yard.
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