Rommel – **

Posted: September 11, 2014 in 2012, biopic, Germany, Historical, War, XX

Visiting the Normandy Beaches with French guides who talk to an American audience on the bus is very one-sided. Everything is told from an Allied/Resistance perspective, which makes sense, but after several times you start wondering how the German experienced the landings. And that’s why this German television movie is so interesting. It’s not a biography on Desert Fox, the most popular German field marshal during the Second World War who got his nickname after his victories in Northern Africa, but it focuses on the man’s last months, trying to prevent the planned landing of the Allied forces in Normandy and being entangled in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

Ulrich Tukur is great as the field marshal, but portrays him a little bit too much as a nice and charming man. Benjamin Sadler is equally great as General Speidel who gets the task to win Rommel over for the conspiracy plan. Both portray sympathetic nazis, which feels a bit weird. Sure, not everyone was a supporter of Hitler and many army officers wanted peace talks instead of Hitlers plan to defend at all costs. But it somehow feels like this movie tries too hard to make Rommel and Speidel heroes.

It’s a good television movie, which is told chronologically and edited as such. There is a lot of dialogue and only a little bit of action. No humor (of course) and no real drama (war is serious). And you don’t really get to know who Rommel really was. His heroism is too obvious. The use of footage from news reels from 1944 is interesting, but doesn’t quite work. And the guy who plays Hitler is a joke. It makes you want to watch Der Untergang again.

However, it’s a great educational movie for those who don’t want to read.


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