Synopsis: Based on a true story, Valkyrie is about Nazi men who were assembled to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II.
Release Date: December 25, 2008 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Drama, History
The story the film delivers is fascinating and provides a glimpse into a historic moment that could have changed everything. It portrays the struggle to take down one of the most powerful and frightful men in history with vigor but falls short of truly engaging the viewer for the duration.
Valkyrie revolves mostly around Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), but as an ensemble all of the actors give very strong performances. Cruise is stoic in his portrayal of a Colonel dead set on completing his task at hand and shows real determination and fortitude that is believable and heart breaking. Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson are also impressive as two men sparring over the right choices to make in such a situation. Night especially has a superb moment of doubt and fear as the plan is put into action that registers across his entire face. Much of the supporting cast gets lost in the shuffle as there are many characters in the film and only so much screen time to afford them. In the end though all of the actors give performances that strengthen the film as a whole and are believable in their respective positions.
Score and Soundtrack
The use of music in this film is of the greatest importance and it serves the story exceptionally well. The suspense is magnified with the pounding drums and percussion. As the tempo of the music rises so does the suspense and danger of the scenes. Without such a strong score to carry these moments along much of the feeling would be lost on the situation at hand.
An unfortunate choice in the direction of the film was the decision to not use German accents. The film begins with Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg speaking in German and then subtly switches to him speaking English. This technique was obviously chosen in lieu of having to subtitle the film for the non-German speaking audience but from that point on the German accent is completely forgotten. Instead, you find a variety of actors from different backgrounds speaking in their native tongues. This makes for a very confusing and disorienting viewing experience. At once you have the American accent, then the British, another with French, and then an actual German. It makes it difficult to keep the suspension of disbelief ongoing when you are not completely put into the German world. Instead you find yourself wondering if these men were actually German – something that should not occur in a story such as this where it is trying to show how German Nazi’s were against Hitler and trying to put a stop to his tormenting. The film is a disservice to the German men and women who put their lives on the line to stop a man hated by not only his own people but most of the World.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Bryan Singer
- Producer(s): Christopher McQuarrieNathan AlexanderTom Cruise (Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg)
- Screenwriter(s): Kenneth Branagh (Major-General Henning von Tresckow)Bill Nighy (General Friedrich Olbricht)Tom Wilkinson (General Friedrich Fromm)
- Story: Carice van Houten (Nina von Stauffenberg)
- Cast: Thomas Kretschmann (Major Otto Ernst Remer)Terence Stamp (Ludwig Beck)Eddie Izzard (General Erich Fellgiebel) David Bamber (Adolf Hitler)John OttmanNewton Thomas SigelLilly KilvertTom Meyer
- Editor(s): Joanna Johnston
- Cinematographer: John OttmanNorthwest SinfoniaSony Pictures Imageworks
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s): Lidar Services
- Music Score: Available on VarÃ¨se Sarabande
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USAGermany