- 2 hr 35 min
Downfall is a 2004 German movie directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel which tells the story of Adolf Hitler's last days in his bunker during World War II. The film stars Bruno Ganz as Hitler with supporting actors Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, and Juliane KÃ¶hler. The movie starts with an introduction to Hitler's inner circle as the German army faces defeat on all fronts. Adolf Hitler, the controversial leader of Nazi Germany, is seen in his bunker surrounded by his most trusted men and women, including his secretary Traudl Junge (played by Alexandra Maria Lara), his mistress Eva Braun (Juliane KÃ¶hler), Joseph Goebbels and his wife, Magda (Ulrich Matthes and Corinna Harfouch), among others. As the war turns against the Germans, Hitler refuses to accept defeat and calls for a scorched-earth policy, ordering the destruction of all German infrastructure and war assets. Despite the grim situation, Hitler remains convinced of his own invincibility, maintaining his belief that the German Reich will last for a thousand years. Within the bunker, Hitler is seized by fits of anger and paranoia, even turning on his closest supporters as he senses they may be conspiring against him. He is seen railing against the German people for not being loyal enough, and he punishes his closest followers for their perceived infidelity. Throughout the movie, the viewer is given an intimate glimpse into the last moments of Hitler's life, as he struggles to come to terms with the fact that he has lost the war. It's a compelling portrait of a man who has become completely isolated, both physically and figuratively. While the movie is focused mainly on Hitler, several subplots and secondary characters play important roles in the story. One of the most significant is Traudl Junge, who joins Hitler's staff as his secretary, only to come to the realization of the immense horror of his regime as the war grinds on. Her journey from naivete to enlightenment serves as a powerful counterpoint to Hitler's descent into madness. Goebbels and his wife Magda also feature prominently in the story, as the couple struggles to come to terms with their fate in a world that has betrayed their beliefs. Their relationship is portrayed with tragic poignancy, as they ultimately choose to commit suicide rather than face the consequences of their actions. The movie's portrayal of Hitler has been the subject of some controversy, with some critics arguing that the film humanizes him too much. However, others praise the nuanced performance by Bruno Ganz, who portrays Hitler as a complex, tragic figure whose downfall was inevitable. Overall, Downfall is a gripping and darkly powerful portrayal of the final days of Nazi Germany, with strong performances from its cast, a beautifully rendered visual style, and an unflinching look at one of the darkest chapters in human history. It's a challenging and thought-provoking film that is sure to stick with viewers long after the credits roll.