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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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'Valkyrie' honors history

Bright red covers the screen as German soilders begin to recite the Fuehrer Oath. A flag bearing the red Swastika flies overhead, hiding Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who prepares to make the biggest decision of his life.

After success the success of films such as X-Men and Superman Returns, director Bryan Singer moved away from the superhero genre to direct the somber Valkyrie. Singer examines the heart of WWII Germany, bringing a true story to the big screen. Despite history’s immutability, Bryan managed to create an edge-of-your-seat thriller out of Valkyrie.

Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) was one of many German rebels who launched an attack on Hitler during the final revolt known as the July 20 Plot. In Valkyrie, Stauffenberg is portrayed as quiet and serious military man. Though he is passionate for his country, he cannot ignore his morals.

Though Stauffenberg began as a loyal Nazi soldier, unbelievable brutality on the front line begins to affect him more deeply than he thought possible. He slowly begins to reconsider his beliefs concerning the war, struggling with his conscience.

After recovery from an attack in North Africa that took one eye, a hand and two fingers, Stauffenberg joins a large resistance group with the goal to asassinate Hitler. This coup included many key officers from different departments of the government such as General Mertx von Quirhnheim (Christian Berkel), Stauffenbergs’ assistant, Werner von Haeften (Jamie Parker), and chief of the General Army in Berlin, Friedrich Olbright (Bill Nighy).

The second assassination plot (and by far the better-known plan) is known as Valkyrie, named after the German reserve army. The resistance force places a bomb in an area sure to rid the world of Adolf Hitler. Though the plan seemed fool-proof, as Stauffenberg and his men thought for a time, the bomb was moved and Hitler suffered only minor injuries.

By the time Stauffenberg realizes his mistake, long after he and his men move in to change the path of the war, the Valkyrie plot is exposed.

Everyone with basic knowledge of WWII history know the ending of this true story. However, Singer managed to remake history into an exciting climax.

Though many critics considered Valkyrie an almost-success that ultimately missed the mark, they focused too much on misplaced accents and Cruise’s undeniable star status.

However, Cruise is the brute force behind the dramatic film. He drives Valkyrie with his seriousness and intensity. Always confident, he assumes leadership onscreen and commands the film. Cruise becomes Stauffenberg and gave me chills in every secret meeting.

Though not filled with well-known actors besides the title character, each pulls their weight and delivers impeccable performances.

Backed by an impeccable all-star ensemble, Cruise maintains the grave tone of war in nearly every scene, literally becoming Staffenberg. His heartless attitude and matching glare added needed drama to the film. When he felt distress, I felt genuinely worried; when he felt strong, I felt empowered. Though he played a military man, he created a relatable character.

The movie itself was shot with a war-reel feel, adding the perfect touch of classic atmosphere. Yet despite high-speed yet muted action, the cast kept a steady hand on the tone of the film. Valkyrie rolls history and suspense into one high-powered film, making it a must-see for all interested in WWII sagas and entertaining thrillers.

For times and ticket sales of this top ten theater flick vist Fandango. For more movie reviews, visit Trent Souza’s Dec. 19 article, Movie fails ‘Jupiter-sized’ hype.

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  • L

    Lisa DooleyAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    We were both so excited to take this trip. This is what happiness looks like, even the morning after very little sleep on a 2-hour delayed red eye flight.
    I love you Madison.

  • S

    Sydney CarlsonAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    That is such a cute picture! It looks like you’re having a fantastic time Madison

  • M

    Maddie YeeAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    This is such a cute picture of Madison! It is so awesome that the journalism class is in New York. I hope they are having a great time, and are learning interesting things. You guys deserve to have some fun for putting so much time into our school newspaper! Go Eagles!