Monthly Archives: February 2013

Late to Der Untergang! A review of Hitler’s Downfall

Magda Goebbels: Sleep tight, children.

So it’s been a while since I reviewed any movies on this little thing, and a while before the movie I reviewed before that, and so on and so forth. You see, I moved to Austin and took a job that keeps me quite busy. Also I’m getting married this June. Also I’m a very lazy person. I actually have quite a few movies that I’ve seen and need to review, and quite a few more that I really want to watch. So I promise, they’re coming. I love you. Please be patient with me.

Cover of "Downfall"


In the meantime, I watched Downfall because Kevin (my roommate and father of my dog children) is reading The Last Days of Hitler and felt like watching it. Okay, actually he’s always trying to get me to watch it and I ran out of excuses to avoid watching it, so here we are.

There’s not really a great way to review this movie. It’s really good but it’s about Hitler. And Bruno Ganz is really phenomenal in his acting (as Hitler) but how good does it feel to be good at playing Hitler? I don’t know. I think I probably would have appreciated it a little more if I had a stronger background in history (this is embarrassing to admit). I got a bit distracted while we watched because every time I heard a new name, I did a Wikipedia search to find out more. This is how Wikipedia K-Holes get started. I have about twenty tabs open right now. Hey, want to hear more about Vasily Chuikov? I didn’t think so.

A few items of note:

  • It’s a little strange to me that Hitler is a vegetarian.
  • Somewhere I missed that Wagner was a racist. I’m not so good at the history, guys.
  • No matter how awful your mother is it’s likely that she’s not as horrible as Magda Goebbels.
  • Why do they always have to kill the dog?
  • I should really add and review more foreign movies. I love them.

To be honest, this movie made me feel a little uncomfortable. Bruno Ganz plays up the pain of Hitler’s downfall so well, and coupled with the fact that apparently Hitler had Parkinsons (I had no idea), I started to feel sorry (?) for him. I want to believe Hitler is the kind of man who would spit on anyone who dared to talk to him. I want to believe that Hitler is the kind of guy who doesn’t tip at a restaurant. But this movie made him seem like an actual human, and that’s just an uneasy realization to have as you’re watching a movie about, well, Hitler.

Also, Alexandra Maria Lara could be the most beautiful girl in the world. I immediately recognized her from Control (about Ian Curtis)– gorgeous.

And finally, if you’ve ever watched any of those “Hitler reacts to __________” videos on YouTube and wondered where the footage came from… well, now you know! Here’s one, plus another one that I like because it’s about pizza: