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Enemy at the Gates [Blu-ray] [Blu-ray]
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Release Date: 19-MAY-2009
Media Type: Blu-Ray
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie portrays the savagery of the Eastern Front. What really sets this apart from other movies is the non-stop intensity. Whereas other movies often show breaks in the action, this one shows the characters living their lives amidst the ruin of war. In this it is probably an accurate portrayal of a city and an army under siege. As this involved a war between Germans and Russians, I did not have much emotional investment in either side so I could watch the action with more objectivity than is the case in movies such as "Saving Private Ryan." I watched this in preparation for a class I was teaching on World War II. I found it to be a great aid to understanding the nature of the war in the east.
Still, the movie tends to drag at times, and could have been much better. The love triangle subplot was more of a distraction than anything else, taking up time that could have been better used to tell more of the awesome story of the battle of Stalingrad as a whole. Rather than simply having the German commander state, "These snipers are demoralizing my people," it would have been nice to have actually "seen" a little bit more of how the actions of Zaitsev and the Soviet snipers wore down the vaunted German infantry. Regrettably, the duel between Zaitsev and Koenig seemed to be taking place in a separate reality than the war itself, almost giving the impression that both sides had an unwritten agreement to let the two rivals shoot it out without interference. Also, the abrupt ending gave no explanation as to how the Red Army, seemingly on the ropes throughout the movie, suddenly emerged victorious.Read more ›
2. Implications: This film tries to pay credence to both the Russians and the Germans, while trying to play at their faults as well. It appears, however, that the film is still in favor of the Allies, from the distasteful humor in Major Konig toward his work, the ominous rows of sleek black German battle tanks, and the hopeful dancing of the Russian soldiers who knew they were to die. How does this movie paint the German personality? Do you think it is a valid statement?
3. Evolution: Cinema has seen many, many WWII films. From the blood and dust of Saving Private Ryan, to the practical jokes and youthfulness of The Great Escape, WWII films showcase a museum of human feelings regarding the Second Great War. Where does Enemy at the Gates fit into this grand tradition? How does it compare?
4. Realism: It's obvious the film tries to be realistic. The bloody battles and lost friends and gloomy atmosphere only emphasize and accent this theme. Yet there is a certain glee in the gun-battles, as if it were a video-game being played out. This is perceived in the cycling of snarpshooters beside Vassily the inevitable conflict between Vassily and Konig, the kill count papers, and the soap-opera love triangle between Danilov, Vassily, and Tanya. Do these elements become shortcomings, or do they flourish the film in its cinematic quest?
5. Stageplay: One of the first surprises of the film is that the Russian actors have British accents, while the Germans have German accents and speak English. How does this affect the atmosphere of the film?
When it comes out in German, or Russian, with English subtitles, I may offer a different opinion. However, all I know about the Battle of Stalingrad, which I won't pit against a professional historian, suggests that some of the themes dealt with in this movie, cannot be dealt with in English.
To wit, I include:
1. What it meant to be a Jew in Stalin's Wartime Soviet Union. No matter how beatiful the Jewess, she should be heard in Russian.
2. No matter how evil, no matter how great the actor, a German major top sniper should speak German. I think Ed Harris is among our greatest actors. He does a magnificent job here, even hanging the young Russian boy who has acted as a double agent, appearing to be sympathetic to the German sniper sent to eliminated the great Soviet hero.
3. Stalingrad was more than mud. This movie somehow bypasses the absolute worst period of the Battle of Stalingrad. See the German film of 1992, titled, "Stalingrad." The winter defeated the Germans, not the Russians. This movie bypasses the period from November, 1942 to February, 1943, when General Paulus' Army surrenders. In addition, the position and personager of General Paulus, who committed high treason by surrendering, is given rather short shrift here.
4. This is just NOT a great battle or historical film. The known actors have not invalidated that. It is all just too "easy" (such as the Major "hearing" the snipers approaching a known pathway through pipes in a nearly silent factory, at a time when there could nearly have been no such silence.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Twists and turns at every corner. I oftened wondered what we/I would do if our country was under attack within our own borders and in our own time. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Solomon David Dyson
real good to watch. not boring at all. I recommend it to anyone who like war movies or action like war movies.Published on Dec 1 2013 by Emily K