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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hmmm, how to play Adolf Hitler? It's a role like Christ no one wants to
touch it and yet if you do it right.... It's all about the
presentation. Hitler: The Rise of Evil takes it's title quite
literally. Adolf Hitler is practically foaming at the mouth he's so
evil. Is this the right way to portray Hitler? No. The Adolf Hitler of
this film is a cartoon with no ounce of humanity. But surely Hitler was
a monster? No he wasn't and it is irresponsible of films like this to
claim that he was. Nazism and the Holocaust were atrocities created by
men fumed by irrational hate. If Hitler were some monster and pure
concentrated evil it gives him an excuse. This film is a fantasy and a
pretty comical one at that starring a mean ogre who comes down from his
cave to wreck havoc on the world waiting for the knights to come slay
Robert Carlyle's Hitler lacks any subtly at all. Fair enough I suppose neither did the real Hitler. The problem is his Hitler is a cartoon. No person in their right mind would listen to him for a second. What Carlyle needed to do was show Hitler's false face. Bruno Ganz' spellbinding portrayal of Hitler in Downfall remains the best portrayal because he played Hitler as a man and not a monster. The fact is when Hitler is dissected to his base level he has no real power and is nothing but a severely mentally ill man who accumulated a dangerous amount of power to enact his horrible dreams. When you portray Hitler as a cartoony monster it says that society had no part in his creation. Anti-Semetism, Military Chauvinism, and violent Nationalism were in the air and they created Hitler. The true danger and lesson that should be taken here is that the world is still capable of making a Hitler.
What the film advertises is exploring the roots of evil of Nazism and it doesn't. Hitler is a demon child from hell. The same famous quote by Edmund Burke is stressed again and again,"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". It's a boring quote which has lost all meaning since originally spoken because of it's over usage. And it presents a problem here. In telling a story about Hitler you are not just telling a story about a mad man, you are telling a story about the country he violated and subjected to tyranny. And this is by far my greatest personal problem with the film. In telling the story of Hitler's rise to power you have to tell the story of the German people. Hitler rose to power by exploiting horrendous want and despair suffered by the German people. If we merely want to discuss evil than at the point of time this movie was set this is the greatest evil Hitler could have done. The movie would have you believe the entire country was nothing but blood sucking krauts and huns who became henchmen for a villain so cartoonish he should be tying up Roger Moore.
The film it's self isn't very historically accurate so there really isn't much to get from it. It plays like a soap opera. Did I enjoy it? I don't like the implications it raises but it is highly watchable in a weird way. Sometimes melodrama can be engrossing but this is melodrama of the lowest sort and so I sort of felt guilty watching it. If you like historical soap operas than you probably will to a certain extent invest some level of interest in the film. The real question though is could your time be spent watching something more substantive?
It's remarkable how timely this 14-yr-old movie is. If you just imagine
Hitler inveighing against the "Muslims" instead of the "Jews", you have
Donald Trump. Also a bit scary. I am also struck by how imprecise
Hitler was about how he planned to "make Germany great again". We, of
course, found out how he went about that. Those who ignore history are
doomed to repeat it.
The accompanying documentary about the making of the TV miniseries is very enlightening as well. I recognized Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica before the narrator identified it. The angst that the network had over such material was certainly understandable. The last thing you want to do is make Adolph Hitler appear sympathetic!
I was really expecting a critically accurate analysis of Hitler's rise to power. Instead I got a political diatribe. We all know the evil that was done, but making up a fictional story to support an agenda is just plain wrong. It just plays into the hands of the Nazis and Neo-Nazis. They can point out all the inaccuracies in this movie and the accompanying documentary and say that Hitler was just misunderstood and that the Holocaust never happened (a prime example is Iran's Ahmadinejad). I believe the truth is far more sobering and frightening than what this movie portrayed, particularly because Hitler was very cool, logical and calculated in his rise to power. He was brilliant in his judgement of people and their desires and motivations. By downplaying his innate capabilities we're very likely to repeat this abhorrent chapter of history again. Look at the current situation in the US and the antisemitism that that is being espoused by our own government. There are so many parallels: the high unemployment, middle-class discontent, government handouts, hatred of Israel, incompetent governance, ...
The whole point of Hitler's RISE TO POWER was his charisma and that he
was worshiped/viewed in a very positive light by his followers, think
of Hans Landa in "Inglorious Basterds" but even more so(almost all the
people that met Hitler in real life were impressed). This is what the
movie fails to do, Hitler is presented as the producers see him, not as
tens of millions of people that followed him to the very end, his
companions or his foreign contacts(see David Lloyd George, the former
British PM and how he described Hitler after their meeting - hint, the
total opposite of how this movie portrays Hitler).
The facts are that he was decorated 3 times as a war hero, he was voted by Germany to power and he was a very able politician and political figure(think that for 12 years, and long after they lost the war, many Germans still viewed him with the highest regard vs. today when politicians are hated in the first 2 years or so), and he created 6 million jobs in the first two years while in power VERSUS this movie -> "Hitler is chaotic evil clown, and I'm offended", cool story bro, with a lot of unhistorical elements and plot twists just to accentuate "the evil", but you fail to show us his actual rise to power and how he got the masses to follow him(otherwise nobody would follow him, no matter how evil/good you think a guy is). 1/10
I find it very unlikely that Hitler was anything like the person
portrayed here. It looks like the actor is peeing in his pants every
time he opens his mouth just to show the audience that he was
evil..Some sides of his politics clearly qualifies as evil, but to my
knowledge he was in private probably nicer than YOU.
Where is the charming, charismatic person all his workers have been talking about in they're memoirs? The movie also full of half lies like: That he didn't deserve his Iron Cross. Wrong. That he killed his dog. Wrong. That he didn't have a normal sex life with Eva Braun. Wrong. Heinz Linge claimed quite the opposite. The list goes on. Because of this it is hard to take this movie serious. This is propaganda and entertainment and nothing more. The entertaining value is nonetheless OK.
I have to admit that I'm commenting this production after seeing the first half only.But it's pretty clear to see where this is going. Now, the directing is not bad, the acting pretty good, but the script could be the work of a six year old kid (no offense to kids everywhere) who has read too many comic books. Adolf Hitler was not someone I would have wanted to get close to, espescially in the 30's and 40's, but by all means he was not the one-sided character we get to see in this film.Nobody is! "Hitler" is so badly written that the Fürher passes as a comic book bad guy. It's typical to make him an all-the-time raging nut (which he was!) but it doesn't get beneath the surface. The childhood of Hitler is so condensed (without mentioning the historical mistakes made!) that we lose sense of what really motivated the nazy leader. Duguay has to fight the material constantly in order to make everything hold together. And where we would expect a character study, even of a very very bad person (see "Raging bull", this one works!), we get something along the birth of the penguin in Batman. Now what is right for comic books isn't correct with historical figures, and certainly not with Adolf Hitler who changed the course of history in such an infamous way. More depth and less fancy camera work would have been needed to make this believable. Not sure I will watch part 2...
First, before reading further, you must understand that I'm not
neo-nazi, I'm just trying to understand correctly Hitler to be sure
nobody like him take power again.
I've seen this series and found it awful. I mean, OK, it's interesting to look, but is it real? I searched for answers and found one: absolutely not. First, Hitler wasn't angry all his life, the series shows an angry Hitler, even when he is a child. Second, Hitler never wanted to abuse his daughter, in fact, it is highly probable that Hitler, in reality, was gay and fought all his life to choke this secret. Third, people will hate me but it's true: Hitler was charming. How do you think he managed to get to power if he was so hateful and ugly? Because he was charming. That's a common point I found in the interviews of people who live near or far of him (of course, not Jews).
This series was awful because if you think that Hitler was just an angry bastard, ugly, and of course, not charming at all, you're wrong. If you think that, you will let people like him take power in countries and you don't want that. If you really understand how Hitler managed to get into power, and stop thinking he was just awful, you'll be able to find dangerous politicians like him (of course, remember he was elected) and stop theme before it's too late.
Life is important to protect, this series is just awful to show us the truth, if we continue to see Hitler like that, another one will take place exactly as the first did.
Advertised by channel seven in Australia as the "untold story", this
miniseries undoes itself in the first five minutes by washing over the
titular character's childhood and adolescence in less time than a good
director will use to set up a single event. This cowardice and
self-censorship for the fear of offending anyone permeates the series, and
is ultimately responsible for its failure.
Robert Carlyle puts in a valiant performance as the most hated man of the twentieth century, but he is hamstrung by two things. The lack of a decent dialogue coach on the series leaves his Northern-UK heritage shining blindingly through his physical appearance, and the dialogue is at times truly abysmal. Apparently, acknowledging the fact that Hitler was raised in a Catholic family is off limits, but insulting millions of Vikings and their descendants by having Carlyle spew the most ridiculous lines about Valhalla is quite okay. Well, here's a clue for the writers - any person familiar with Viking mythology will tell you that Valhalla is about the embodiment of honour and might in battle, two things that the Nazis quickly eschewed in favour of rat cunning and backstabbing. Until we can wake up to ourselves and realise that the reason Hitler has never been excommunicated from the Catholic church is because it would require the embarassing acknowledgement that he was once a member, we will never learn what this awful period of the world's history has to teach us.
So now that we've managed to insult Vikings and the citizens of Scandinavian countries in this sham, you'd think the series would stop there, but it doesn't. Stockard Channing's listing in the opening credits was particularly eyebrow-raising, given that her voice is heard, and her face seen, for about thirty seconds at the most during the opening credits, making it patently transparent that more footage of Hitler's early days were shot, but not included because of a typical nanny-state fear of offending someone. It is also quite ironic that the films or miniseries which give a far better insight into Hilter's character do not feature him at all.
Until we learn to stop sugar-coating the truth and realise that the citizenry of Germany was mostly unopposed to Hitler's views, and not necessarily through ignorance, we will never learn to deal with the fact that subversions of democracy (yes, Germany was a democracy pre-Hitler) can occur anywhere, we are doomed. That's the one thing this mini-series got right in portraying. Unfortunately, that element is lost in attempts to make Hitler's religious beliefs appear those of a much more valiant people, and the inability to scratch past the surface in any part of the subject matter. David Letterman's show had it pegged when they ran short satirical segments about the series. They really might as well have made a family sitcom with him as the star, that's how badly it was written.
All in all, this politically correct farce of a bio-pic is worth no points, but I gave it two because Robert Carlyle definitely deserves better material than this, and he is about the only thing in it that works.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
this miniseries film is so outrageously over the top in dehumanizing
Hitler as to make him into a cartoon character. Someone like Hitler was
genuinely frightening, and movies like "Downfall" do an excellent job
of portraying how he could so easily charm people, and also his
delusions and irrational tirades and constantly blaming others that are
disturbingly reminiscent of modern day leaders.
Here, from childhood he's depicted as an uptight bratty phuc boi. The childhood is gone over in a semi-montage form, and from that point all throughout the WW1 sequences, every scene ends with you laughing at how absurd it's been.
Robert Carlyle is utterly phenomenal as Hitler, managing to perfectly encapsulate his public persona and his speaking style and mannerisms. He does the absolute best with what the script and direction gives him, which means that there is no subtlety or humanity to this character at all. In his private moments, he's the same semi-coherent jibbering loon as in his public moments.
At no point is there any reason given as to why people would flock to him over some other rabble-rousing speaker. He treats everyone with the sort of detached, pent-up hysterics of a bad imitation of a person with aspergers or some other odd personality disorder.
Whether or not it would be accurate or true to Hitler's character can't fully be known, but the movie goes out of its way to only present Hitler as perpetually dumb, stupid, unbalanced, and shrill.
Even if accurate to his personality and temperament (before the war and the drugs), the shrill, unsubtle way it's directed makes it come across like a psychotic anti-Hitler hit-piece not directed at condemning him for his evil actions, but basically just condemning him for being a loud-mouthed weirdo.
The overall direction is done with a clumsy lack of any sort of subtlety or realism. Overly dramatic shots and musical cues are abundant, as if the characters are supposed to somehow know just how EEEEVIL Hitler is every time he's in the room. There's literally no redeeming characteristics of this depiction of Hitler.
Real life Hitler loved dogs. The Hitler in this film is depicted violently whipping a dog for not sitting on his command.
The man was responsible for tens of millions of deaths and a poisonously suicidal ideology that has managed to persist to this day, you don't have to invent reasons for us to hate him like this film seems to try to do.
There appear to be a number of critical reviews of this TV series,
mostly about "inaccuracy." For example, they worry about Hitler's
father shown dying in his home instead of in a bar. Who gives a damn?.
How do you portray the rise of Hitler? Do you get bogged down in trivia, or do you portray broad strokes.
Did Hitler hate Jews because he hated communists, and many Jews were communists? That could have been better developed.
Hitler was a loner and voracious reader in the army, obsessed with Germany's loss of WWI. That could have been better developed.
I could go on and on, but the fact remains, Hitler was the most evil man in all of human history. How did Hitler develop from a homeless vagabond to the world's most powerful and feared individual, within a period of 20 years, who could extract a personal loyalty oath from millions of blind followers. How can that possibly be covered in a visual medium such as a movie or TV series.
Personally, the explanation can only be found in the anti-Christ. Hitler was the devil, in human form. Not a devil's disciple, but the devil himself. Decision after decision was flawlessly executed in pursuit of absolute political power, all opposition was outsmarted, outmaneuvered and eliminated.
The really frightening thought, if Hitler had not overreached from absolute political control to making all military decisions, we would all speak German today.
If Hitler had wiped out the British in Dunkirk and immediately following had invaded Great Britain, and had bypassed Stalingrad to go straight into Moscow, the Nazis would have won the war. There would have been no Normandy invasion, no three fronts to defend.
So how can a Hitler, so flawlessly achieving power in Germany, make these fatal mistakes on the battlefield. Divine intervention? I certainly hope to believe that.
But this movie has not to worry about the military history; it stops shortly following passage of the Enabling Law in 1933. In showing Hitler's rise to absolute political power, this movie is OUTSTANDING.
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