Valkyrie

Valkyrie is directed Bryan Singer and is about the 15th and final assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler before his death. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), is a military officer of the national socialist party who serves his country with utmost patriotism but fears that Germany would collapse under the further rule of Hitler. He joins like-minded individuals within the National Socialist party who create a plan to overthrow Hitler. Von Stauffenberg quickly becomes the target man in a plan that could change the course of WW2.

I was really annoyed about the fact that this movie was in English because there was absolutely no reason for it to be. I’m pretty sure Germans communicated between one another in German and not in English, especially someone like Adolf Hitler who considered himself to be a true patriot. Valkyrie could have been a very different movie indeed if all the dialogue was spoken in German by predominantly German speaking actors and then subtitled in English like Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Instead we are presented with nearly two hours of predominantly British and American actors speaking in their native English dialects, who made me seriously doubt the historical authenticity of this film.

The portrayal of Adolf Hitler was also laughable. He sounded like a Frenchman and behaved idiotically. In one particular scene, he signed off on an important legislative pertaining to his own private army without reading a single word of it. This was by far one of the worst portrayals of one of the most despicable men in history. Tom Cruise also delivers one of the most dullest performances of his career. He doesn’t look, behave or sound like someone representing the National Socialist party. His acting range is comparable to that of a sponge: non existent. There are also many historical inaccuracies in this film because Valkyrie deals with these events in a very superficial way. The most prominent example of this argument is Tom Cruise’s portrayal Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. In the movie he is presented as a spotless figure who is determined only to overthrow Hitler and rebuild German society but his character is so much more complex than that:

In truth, Stauffenberg was an avid supporter of the Nazi regime in the early days who believed in ‘cleansing the German race’. He also welcomed the war as an opportunity to create a new European empire under the influence of Germany and was an opponent to democracy. Only after did Germany start losing did Stauffenberg’s motives towards Hitler changed. The transformation of Stauffenberg from an enthusiastic Hitler supporter into a Hitler assassin could have made an interesting film. But such a movie would not contain the immaculate hero which Tom Cruise presents to us.

As a whole, I was not a fan of Valkyrie. It deals with these historical events in a very superficial light and cherry picks historical accounts in order to present figures of history in a very particular “Hollywoodized” manner. The depiction of Nazi Germany was another low point of this movie because none of the actors looked or spoke like Germans. My only praise for Valkyrie is that it delivers on some nail-biting, edge of the seat type moments. It presents the actual events of the attempted assassination and the after effects in a historically accurate manner with loads of thrilling moments that will keep audiences entertained to a certain degree. But if you are a history buff, this movie isn’t for you.

RATING

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