Valkyrie a.k.a. “Operação Valquíria,” “Operaatio Valkyrie,” “Operation Walküre—Das Stauffenberg-Attentat,” “Operazione Valkiria,” “Valkýra,” “Valkiria”
Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Biography, History, Thriller, War, Drama
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
December 25, 2008 (wide—2,500 theaters)
What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer
About murder in the Bible
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn't this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer
What kind of world would you create? Answer
“Many saw evil. They dared to stop it.”
On July 20, 1944, the last known attempt to assassinate Hitler was the Valkyrie Project. The project was a clever one; they would use Hitler’s own plan to overthrow the government, once the Fuhrer was killed. Of course, those who know their history know that all attempts to kill the evil man failed. However, our already knowing Hitler’s demise does nothing to the film’s suspense. Director Bryan Singer and the excellent cast put us right in the middle of the action, still making us hope for the best.
Not all German officials were on Hitler’s side. The German officers who were already in the armed forces long before Hitler’s rule were often alienated from the SS and the Gestapo. Many detested the man who had tarnished the country’s recovering honor from World War I. Once the Second World War was obviously turning against Germany, several of these traditional officers picked up the momentum for assassinating Hitler and giving Germany one last chance to redeem itself.
The movie takes place over the span of about a year and half. Hating what his country has become, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was the perfect recruit for the secret group of plotters who wanted Adolf Hitler dead. It wasn’t too long before the colonel becomes the front man of the Valkyrie operation.
Sadly, when seeing this movie, people might be reminded of Tom Cruise’s personal life and the utterly false beliefs he has. However, the man deserves credit when it comes to his acting. He was magnificient in his role as the colonel and successfully carried the film’s weight on his shoulder. As with the rest of the cast, they all acted their roles with amazing believability that helped build the suspense.
Bryan Singer, the director, moves the audience comfortably along throughout the unfolding of the plot. Each character was carefully introduced as to avoid confusion from the several key players of the Valkyrie Project. One well-shot scene was when Col. Von Stauffenberg was waiting anxiously for Hitler to sign the revised copy of Valkyrie. The director zoomed in on Hitler’s aging face, as he timidly crouched down while signing. Looking down as Hitler signed, Von Stauffenberg realized how close, yet so far, he was to seeing Hitler killed.
The cursing is rather mild. There is one use of the “f” word and a few other of the smaller profanities scattered through the film. A married couple share a few, but very appropriate, kisses; another couple is shown kissing somewhat passionately.
Since this is a war movie, the main offense comes from the violence. However, I feel that director Singer did an extraordinary job keeping it tastefully done and rather tame. There is some gunfire, explosions, and missiles. One must remember that this movie is a thriller where the main suspense comes within the plot to assassinate Hitler. So one might get offended that the entire movie is based on trying to kill a man and overthrow a government. At the end of the movie, many men are shown executed by firing squad; a few are also shown to have committed suicide. The camera would often turn away before the initial impact or the blood would be minimal.
Many of us might fear death. For most of us, our date of dying is unknown, and therefore it is not in the forefront of our everyday thinking. As the German officials plotted assassinating Hitler, they knew that if they were to fail, they would lose their lives. It was a risk they were willing to take, but certainly not desired. With this in mind, I could not help but be reminded of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He already knew the exact day he was going to die. He even knew that Judas would betray him for money. Jesus obeyed God until his last dying breath, to fulfill the necessary sacrifice. John 17 is the beautiful prayer when Jesus spoke with God. He said,
“Father the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. …this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
I definitely recommend this movie. It provides a lot of strong themes and a glimpse into a relatively unknown part of history. I believe this movie is appropriate for 13 and older. It helps show all of the emotions a war brings, without being too gruesome. While the executions are sad and emotionally heavy, they are not over done. Many deep conversations should come from this film and a thought as to what we would be willing to die for.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.