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Movie Review: Enemy at the Gates.

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  422 Words (2 Pages)  •  836 Views

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I have to say that this is one good movie, its pretty different from your average WWII movie. Its not as propaganda based as your American war movies like saving private Ryan or pearl harbour. In this movie we get to see the war effort from the Russian communist point of view. Its like a hide and seek thriller that uses the battle of Stalingrad as a disguise for the battle of courage and determination that we see going on, on the big screen. A lot of historians say that the battle of Stalingrad was the most unpleasant and devastating one fought. Writer/Director Jean-Jacques Annaud, writer Alain Goddard, and cinematographer Robert Fraisse treat the subject matter with great care towards authenticity and entertainment value. They keep things in all simplicity, no flashy special effects or any silly bullet time. Just film, actors, and a camera.

Everything is pretty realistic and complies with the situations like the elude sex scene or soldiers getting barraged with machine gun fire. The best part about this movie is how it is based on the true story of the Russian hero Vassili Zaitsev. Even though the film is composed of mostly a serious atmosphere we get some slight comic relief from Koulikov played by Ron Perlman. the ending was greatly depicted since it was almost fairy tale like. Danilov throws his life away for Vassili, Vassili then draws out Koning and their bitter fight is ended by one shot, and then for the win Tania comes back from the near dead. Its cinema like this that leaves you thinking how can a movie so acutely portray something that happened almost 53 years ago? In terms of all historical accurateness, it has its ups and downs. We see some downers in a few scenes such as the bomber planes flying too low, as the original planes never flew that low because they themselves could get damaged in the explosions, the reflective coating on Danilov's spectacles seem to be modern, the lack of delay when the sniper rifle is fired or even continuity where Konings teeth are not always metal. The rest of the film seems to piece the Russian and German history together quite well.

I myself can say that I enjoyed this piece of fine work even though it was on VHS. This is one of those films that well be quite rare because the age of good cinematography is coming to an end.

works cited:

Annaud, Jean-Jacques. "Enemy At The Gates." ,Directed



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