Opening with a group of young women being escorted by armed soldiers to meet Hitler, Downfall is not your average World War II film. Yes, it has guns, violence, death and soldiers, but this film tells of the last few weeks of the third reich from the perspective of those in the bunker with Hitler. For the most part we are shown the world through the eyes of Trudl Junge, one of those young women from the opening scene who became Hitler’s secretary.
Junge’s voice is also the first, and last, that we hear. And it is the real Junge who speaks, a voice-over from an interview with her in her old age.
The really strange thing about this film is the fact that we see Hitler portrayed as just a person. Well, not your regular average person, but still, he is given a personality. We get to see him being normal, being kind even. Yet despite this, and despite the fact that you even find yourself feeling sorry for him, all the time you are a aware of what he was responsible for. And the film doesn’t shy away from the halocaust either, at one stage we see Hitler saying that yes he may die, but at least he will have ridded Germany of the Jewish problem.
By using Junge as the main character we are shown how Hitler acted towards her, towards Eva, even towards his dog. And by allowing his (and some of the other high-ranking Nazi’s) humanity to be shown Downfall almost makes him more reprehensible.
Excellent, but wierd