Munich: The Edge of (preventing) War

Munich: The Edge of (preventing) War

Synopsis

The historical-drama film starts off as a prim spy thriller and ends as an important lesson on humanity

Munich: The Edge of (preventing) War
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An incredible historical political thriller that melds fact with enjoyable fiction, the movie was born when director Christian Schwochow brought to life the page-turner, Munich, authored by Robert Harris in 2017. It is a story of loyalty, betrayal, and treason, set around the events of the infamous 1938 Munich Conference, convened by Adolf Hitler to force the opposing Western powers into handing him over the Czech Sudetenland, while British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, played by Jeremy Irons, desperately but naively attempts to negotiate Adolf Hitler out of waging war, a part that really was successful.

Munich: The Edge of War opens up in 1932, at an Oxford University garden party, with champagne floating around in abundance, introducing two of our main characters, two young men, one German and one English, former Paul von Hartmann, played by the German actor Jannis Niewohner, latter Hugh Legat played by the British actor, George MacKay, estranged due to their opposing ideas over the young German’s Hitler loving agenda. Later come to find out Hugh works at 10 Downing Street and is married to Pamela played by Jessica Brown Findley and Paul serves in the foreign ministry in Berlin and has a lover named Helen played by Sandra Hüller.  Fast forward a few years and the two old buddies weave together a more intricate plot to stop Hitler and his intended war, this being a part entirely made up but works in perfect harmony with the historical chain of events. Working towards the same goal the two men, on opposite sides of not only a geographical but also political divide, put a lot at stake at attempted heroism with not only their fate but the fate of the world hanging in balance.

Fast-forwarding to 1938, the once buddies to estranged friends turn back to each other now that Paul is secretly anti-Nazi and is planning on sneaking Hugh a secret document that contains the minutes of the meeting that was held a few months before the Munich treaty, that would be able to prove Hitler’s true intentions for conquest no matter the outcome of the conference and potentially disrupt the deal. We follow a quest that if gone south would lead to repercussions for both men involved, Paul could end up in the camps with no ticket to return and Hugh would face the wrath of the British government at enacting this dangerous game.

As the possibility of war inches closer, ordinary British citizens silently pray for peace or prepare themselves for war, while German soldiers salute one another and itch at the prospect of going to war. Many of these soldiers were held in a trance that had once encapsulated Paul as well, as one supposedly could not be blamed for being swayed by the oratory skills of Adolf Hitler, they believed that the few evils committed such as the racism and rising dictatorship were small sacrifices that they would have to bestow on to everyone involved in order for the greater good to prevail. Hitler had blinded his people with the idea of an undivided country for all Germans, leaving out the part where with would have to give up their right to free expression and any form of individuality in order to achieve it.

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Most believe that this movie comes as a 123-minute long attempt at glorifying  Neville Chamberlain, played by Jeremy Irons for his attempts of saving the world from yet another war, the true but fictional heroes of this storyline, while being more energetic and engaging come out to be Paul and Hugh and all their supporting characters that made their quest one to remember, with Paul following in on his own words, “We don’t choose the times we live in. the only choice we have is how we respond.”

While being an enjoyable piece of cinema to watch, this is a movie that stays even after we leave the cinema/movies rooms, it makes us question not only the fictional tellings that were seamlessly woven into the historical facts, but the historical facts themselves. Staring back at the blank post credit scene do you really question if Hitler could have actually been stopped back in 1938?  What would have happened if the Western powers at the time had not let Hitler get away with invading the Sudetenland? And a plethora of other questions that might just remain forever unanswered. Even though we all know that Chamberlain’s attempt at avoiding a war with Nazi Germany will be unsuccessful, even before we watch the thriller, it leaves us at the edge of our seats with its profound acting and excellent dialogues that unlike most historical retellings transports us into a possibility of an alternate reality.

Released on Netflix on January 7th, 2022, Munich: The Edge of War, is set to grab your attention and transport you into a world of never pausing turn of events and never a dull second.

 

 

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