19 March 2001 | Pastor Shlug
A joke, from both a historical and a cinematic points of view
First of all, I think it was a mistake for the screenwriters to pick and choose such a big event in the history of WWII, a turning point so to speak, only to have it placed as a background, to something so much less significant, a duel between two snipers. If one has never read anything historical or seen any chronological movies about battle of Stalingrad, or any other battle for that matter before seeing this movie, one might even wonder, how did Russians win the war at all? With one rifle per four hands? Against tanks? And aircraft? And heavy artillery? You know there's only so much even a drunken Russian can do with his ½ of a rifle. I see all these peoples' comments complaining that the main characters' accents were too British or too American and that that spoiled the true Russian Character, however the Hollywood makers portray that to be. But, being Russian myself, I saw nothing in the movie, at least on the Russian side, that resembled any truth to even how people spoke to each other, how they interacted with each other. They just didn't seem Russian to me, and it didn't matter what accents they used. These characters were biased cardboard characters, speaking cardboard character lines, and acting, well, cardboard-like. In the opening scenes of the movie they show a bunch of unarmed people thrown into battle only to be massacred by well armed Germans. That's a crock of sh*t, pardon my Russian. Basically by 1942, Hitler's army was fighting on two fronts, and it was very, very tired. Both sides were. Both sides were running out of people and supplies. Mostly, Battle of Stalingrad was a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of war. People charging and taking over some useless strategic point and then being thrown back, and then charging again. It was a battle to see who had a bigger stamina, because both sides were low in numbers. But it was also a battle involving tanks, artillery, and planes on BOTH sides. In the movie they omitted that, showing us diving Stukas, and yet surprisingly, no anti-aircraft guns firing at them, no Russian planes in the sky, just two soldiers armed with one rifle. Bullsh*t. No number of Vasiliy Zaycevs or Tatyana Whoevers would be able to stand off, and more even, reverse the tide of war against Germans, without having, basically an equally, if not better, equipped army at their side. If you look at the numbers, about 250,000 German and about 100,000 Russian soldiers lost their lives over Stalingrad. Well from the movie it might seem the opposite. Plus the whole mood of the movie. Russian soldiers, seemed no different from prisoners, defending Stalingrad only because of the muzzles pointed at their backs. But actually, believe it or not, many of these people were defending their motherland, their wives, daughters, sons, etc. and they were doing it not because they were to be shot otherwise, but because they loved their country and believed in its future. True, there were special NKVD units that were ordered to fire on retreating soldiers. But there was no other way, at that point. If Stalingrad would've fallen, that would greatly demoralize an entire Red Army, and cause an even greater loss of life. But by no means were soldiers thrown into battle, half-armed into their certain death. That would just be pointless, even for ruthless Russian Generals. Plus when they showed Kruschev commanding the front, I fell off my seat laughing. I can go on and on, and this would be a never-ending story, except that I don't want it to be as boring and as never-ending as the script for Enemy at the gates. Advice for people who like a little reality in their movies, don't see it. It sucks. I try to picture Private Ryan done by the same director. It just wouldn't be Private Ryan, but some stupid unrealistic war flick, sort of like U-571.