‘Downfall’ documents Hitler’s final throes


I have seen many films about Hitler and World War II, but probably none quite so compelling as “Downfall,” a look inside Hitler’s Chancellery Bunker in Berlin in April 1945.

“Downfall” unfolds through the eyes of several people who survived in the bunker, including Hitler’s secretary.

As Russian forces march into Berlin, Hitler’s world begins to collapse. He hand picks several of his best generals and confidants and their families to join him in the bunker.

There is a naive euphoria these people share that is fascinating to watch and at the same time hard to understand how they could have been so duped to allow what happened under Hitler’s rule.

Director Oliver Hirshbiegel effectively captures all the raw emotions of the tense situations. Although the film is long and lags in some spots, performances by the actors are great.

Each actor was able to physically get into a character that gave him or her chills just thinking about what really went on in that bunker.

Each performance enhances the enthralling suspense that mounts with every tick of the clock, thus making “Downfall” a gripping account that further substantiates the madness of a dictator.

“Downfall” is playing at the La Jolla Cinemas.