World War Two has plenty of stories for us to learn about as viewers. Though historically accurate, compelling and riveting, “The Monuments Men” did not do the story justice. For the dramatic plot of taking back stolen art from Nazi Germany, it was expected that the film would either stay focused on being a drama, or avoid hard-hitting subjects and remain a comedy. Clooney instead found a strange mix of both, and in a way that was uncomfortable at points. The lack of depth, direction and length of this movie, made it fall from what could have been a great, well-made film.
This movie is based on a true story by the name “The Monuments Men.” Their idea as architects, artists, curators, etc, was to work with the U.S. Military to define to military leaders what to avoid bombing. As a campaign to save and recover artwork, it proved to be a great story to prevent masterpieces from becoming a staple in Hitler’s planned museum. As a failed artist, one of Hitler’s ideas was to create a giant art museum called the Führermuseum that would be built in Linz, Austria. So as his army moved across Europe, museums, homes and families were robbed of any art and artifacts that they owned.
The movie was very selective on its history, which led to many mixed feelings, as well as an inaccurate portrayal of the time. Hitler, as a part of his massive genocide, stole much of his collected work from Jewish families. This aspect in the movie was portrayed, yet did not always reflect the situation of the atrocities of Nazi regime. The movie gave a very false sense of what the war and Europe were really like towards the end of WWII. This picking and choosing was very clear in the movie for those familiar with the history of this time period.
The scenes in this movie were extremely choppy and jumped between various emotions. One scene would make light of wartime, and the next, remind us of very dark subjects from the Holocaust. From trailers, the movie seemed more molded to an Indiana Jones film. It absolutely failed that image, and instead, dabbled in being both a comedy and a drama. Each Indiana Jones film developed the heroic Jones over a few hours, compared to the star-studded cast of “The Monuments Men.” It would have been a better film if the viewers were more invested in the story. The movie fell short in getting people invested in the story.
As “The Monuments Men” was a relatively short film, the characters did not properly have time to develop and built a relationship with the viewer. Again, comedy was interlaced with very patriotic messages and speeches from Clooney to his men. However, it did not leave a lasting impression. It was just out of place, and its only consolation was the music to accompany it. The acting itself was great, but because of the lack of depth in this film, the use of such a well-known cast was lost.
This movie was based during the final year or so of the war. During that period, Nazi Germany was quickly starting to lose territory, and was close to surrendering. For history buffs, “The Monuments Men” did not capture the atmosphere of the war ending. A portion of this film was set in Paris, yet it was very unclear when the Germans even pulled out from the city. Because of the choppiness of the scenes, it was confusing to see any violence when the story originally did not develop the seriousness of war. Laughing during the movie was a bit uncomfortable, because viewers could not gauge the nature of the film.
Overall, this movie has a wonderful cast, acting, cinematography and music score. However it failed on delivering a clear message of both the war and what the movie was trying to convey. A movie like Indiana Jones spent almost three hours building the heroic patriotism of an American professor saving items from the Nazi regime. “The Monuments Men,” who were the real world equivalent, seemed to be almost a fake story in the way it was shown in the movie. Without viewers invested in the story, and a confusing set of emotions that were under developed, this movie fell short of its expectations.