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The Ogre

Where to Watch The Ogre

R
1996

Set against the grim backdrop of World War II, The Ogre, a 1996 Franco-German film, is a deep and evocative journey into the human spirit's unfathomable valleys. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff and starring John Malkovich, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Gottfried John, this film expertly combines history, drama, and psychological introspection to create a haunting narrative that stays with viewers long after the credits roll.

John Malkovich, known for his intensity and versatility, incarnates the protagonist, Abel Tiffauges. He is a Frenchman with a complex persona - endearing yet mildly unsettling. Malkovich masterfully brings out Abel's childlike nature, which becomes an integral part of the narrative. Housed in a large body with powerful strength, Abel, a Parisian mechanic, has an almost unsettling affection for children and dreams, often examining them through his camera lens – a hobby he is passionate about. The film delves into Abel's early life, providing a foundation for his unusual interests and quirks.

Following the outbreak of World War II, Abel is conscripted into the French military. His untapped strength and unique personality are used to add a touch of realism to the chaos of war enveloping Europe. Armin Mueller-Stahl and Gottfried John offer compelling performances as characters tangled in the war's messiness, each having their storylines juxtaposed against Abel's seemingly surreal journey.

As the war progresses, Abel finds himself a prisoner of the German forces. Thrown into an entirely different world, he navigates the reality of his situation with an innocence that continues to highlight his unique perspective on life. It's in this grim setting that he fortuitously encounters a high-ranking official, played by Gottfried John, which leads him into a bizarre chapter of his life.

Abel is transferred to the secluded Goering's hunting lodge nestled amidst Germany's breathtaking landscapes. Here, he is appointed as the gamekeeper. A significant turn of events at this juncture relates closely to Abel's deep interest in children, and it serves as a plot device to intensify the film's narrative complexity. His very fondness for children is exploited, drawing him further into the heart of Nazi ideology.

Schlöndorff combines Abel's peculiar personality with the grim reality of war and ends up showcasing the far-reaching implications of manipulation and propaganda in shaping individual and collective mindsets. The director exhibits his craftsmanship by drawing out powerful performances and integrating historical events into a man's emotional and psychological journey, showcasing the power of persuasion and the blurring of moral boundaries in war-torn society.

Additionally, The Ogre is accentuated by splendid cinematography - capturing the bleak austerity of the war and the haunting beauty of the German forest with equal effectiveness. The music, meticulously composed by Michael Nyman, complements the visuals perfectly, thereby enhancing the overall cinematic experience.

Finally, a word about the title, The Ogre. While it might seem like an odd choice for a movie portraying the life of an essentially sensitive and naive man, the significance unfolds as the narrative moves forward. It symbolizes the distortion of Abel’s affection for children into a monstrous stereotype, highlighting how his innocence is exploited and twisted.

In conclusion, Volker Schlöndorff’s The Ogre is an intricate, intense exploration of a man's unique perspective and experiences against the backdrop of World War II. This film, with its powerful performances, poignant narrative, and excellent execution, offers a watch that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally impactful. This historical drama, though set in a specific period, successfully comments on universal themes of innocence, manipulation, and the human capacity for moral ambiguity.

The Ogre is a Drama, War movie released in 1996. It has a runtime of . Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8..

How to Watch The Ogre

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6.8/10
Director
The Ogre (German: Der Unhold) is a 1996 film based on the 1970 novel by Michel Tournier, Le Roi des aulnes (The Ogre, a.k.a. The Erl King). Directed by Volker Schlndorff, it stars John Malkovich as a simple man who recruits children to be Nazis in the be
Genres
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