Saturday, 28 May 2011

Die Welle (The Wave) Review

Wow.  What a great movie.  It's a story about how a fanatical dictatorship can form given the right direction and environment.  On the surface, it is about a high school class who says that a dictatorship could never exist in Germany again.  Their teacher starts a seemingly benign project to prove them wrong and it spins out of control.  Dig a little deeper and you'll realize that it explains the fragile balance between individuality and community that exists in our world to maintain peace and order and how that balance can be disrupted so easily.  It also shows how easy it is to sway people's opinions and beliefs using logical arguments at first and build their loyalty using more and more ridiculous persuasion (the Wave salute for example would not have been effective early in the experiment but seemed logical nearer to the end).  It does nothing to justify autocratic regimes like Nazi Germany.  In fact, it denounces them.  But it does open your eyes to how something like that could happen.

Technically speaking, this film is excellent as well.  While it is another non-English language film, I still assume that the dialogue delivery is very good.  Jurgen Vogel does a great job as the teacher everybody already likes.  His charisma comes through strong when he's addressing the students.  Visually, everything seems pretty strong as well.  The locations used seemed to be lower-middle class which provides the right environment for this type of group to form.  Some of the techniques used to get the kids to follow the Wave seem a little cheesy and unrealistic.  You think, "there's no way teenagers would follow something that dumb."  But you need to realize that it is a caricature of real life situations to show how simply the masses can be swayed.  Some of the scenes, also, I did not fully understand.  In a film like this, I would expect everything to have two purposes; one to further the plot and the second one to dig deeper into the movie philosophically.  A few of the scenes did not seem to do that.

However, I would still say "See this Movie."  Not only do I recommend watching it, I recommend that everyone should seek it out and see it.  It entertains but it also educates.  It really opens your eyes to how things like this can happen on a larger scale and, if we know those dangers, we, as a society, are far less likely to repeat them.

No comments:

Post a Comment