Enemy At The Gates Movie Review

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade January 2002

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The name of the movie I reviewed is called "Enemy at the Gates" and the production year of this movie was 2001. The movie's director is Jean Jacques Annaud, and the stars are: Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Bob Hoskins, Ed Harris, Ron Perlman, Gabriel Thomson, Eva Mattes, Matthias Habich, and Sophie Rois. The movie takes place back in the summer of 1942 in the Battle of Stalingrad. During the autumn of 1942, the Russian war efforts weren't going as planed because they were being outgunned by the Germans. A bloody six-month quarrel marked by street battles and house-to-house fighting reduced the Russian city to rubble and claimed about one million lives. By February of 1943, the Russians took back their city and the Germans were forced to retreat. One of the heroes to arise from the Battle of Stalingrad was a former shepherd boy from the Ural Mountains named Vasiliy Zaitsev, who was an expert marksman.

Vasiliy became a national hero by the Russian press and propaganda machine, which wrote of his over 200 kills and talent for killing his enemies with one shot. Unfortunately, Vasiliy's popularity also caught the attention of the Germans; so they sent their best marksman, Major Konig, to hunt him down. Vasiliy gained knowledge of this and began looking out for Major Konig's arrival. One day, while on the lookout for Konig, Vasiliy somehow found him in a dilapidated building and was forced to hide behind an iron obstacle for fear of being shot by the major. Then, out of nowhere, a bomber flew by and plunged bombs on the city, making the crumbled building collapse even worse. This event let Vasiliy make an escape from his hiding place. As the war was coming to an end, Vasiliy and Major Konig eventually came down to a shoot out of patience, waiting for each other to make a mistake. As soon as Major Konig saw a head, he attempted a shot and thought he had killed Vasiliy. Then, as Major Konig came from his diminutive hiding spot to investigate his victim, Vasiliy stood up halfway from his camouflaged spot and pointed his rifle directly at Major Konig's cranium. Major Konig beseeched Vasiliy to shoot him and since Vasiliy had gracefully and honorably earned the triumph, he killed him. The historical significance of this movie was the Battle of Stalingrad. The battle, since it was the key turning point in the war, played a major role in World War II. I thought this movie was excellent because it illustrated in detail the lifestyle of many soldiers in the war, their feelings, and what they had to go through.