Monday, February 17, 2014

The Monuments Men ~ Film Review

by:Uel Ceballos

The Monuments Men is neither your action-packed kind of war account nor the suspenseful narrative kind of history film that would make your heart beat in thrill and excitement. However, it carries with it a noble intention and a highly significant event that is worth showing to the whole wide world. Though given with mixed to negative reviews by film critics, it’s quite undeniable that Monuments Men got two major features that would certainly place it in the line of this year’s notable films. First, it got a powerful casts who all have a respected name in the film industry. Second and the most important thing, the film reveal the unknown event to which the whole world owes the recovery of the stolen Western civilization art treasures during the Nazi ruling. If not for the Army Unit nicknamed as “Monuments Men” during the World War II, there will be no more ancient arts to be treasured today because these would be either destroyed forever or stolen by the people who reigned during the war period. It is just timely at this point of humanities’ advancement and continuous development, that we take into each and everyone’s awareness the details about the silent heroes who have risked their lives for those pieces of arts that we greatly value and admire today.

Directed and starred by George Clooney himself, The Monuments Men is created with subtle intention for drama and action. Nonetheless, with the narrative of that particular event as the main focal point of the story, the emotions are naturally developed during the progression of the film. Mainly because the past itself is already a bunch of emotional elements that whenever it is stirred, recounted, or remembered, everyone who witness does feel that strange connection onto something that happened or existed from long time ago, thus we people can't help but get into that nostalgic feeling. People’s lives are all interconnected through numerous links and channels, regardless to where part of the world they are or to what era they have lived, each and everyone are connected to both the past and the present. That is exactly the same way I have felt while I’m watching The Monuments Men, the attached feeling to the arts treasures which I only read on books but never yet see and touch. I have never known or even heard about these Monuments Men who helped recover the lost and stolen arts from the paintings, sculptures, jewels and other arts antiques made from the old times. It was never written in the history books (well not in the books that are used in school), and it was never taught in school that there were heroes who saved these artworks from the Nazi’s (unless maybe if you're majoring in arts or humanities). Who would have thought anyway that there were men who were willing to risk their lives for a piece of art? But, it is worth it? The answer is given in the movie.

The Monuments Men may lack an excellent screenplay and cinematography but nonetheless it has delivered a strong context for arts history. Not the kind that would compete to films with aesthetic spectacles and creative execution, but rather a film that is worth keeping for the future generation to see.  The film carries with it an important narrative of the people who have played essential role but scarcely remembered and recognized for their heroic deeds.

I would review this film not by the criteria of how excellent the film is made but by how the message is effectively delivered and infused to the audience. Therefore, being an audience myself, I admit that the film was not flawlessly carried out with its sequences not all smoothly transitioned, but it did affect me and moved me in a special kind of way. In fact, I’m quite more inspired now to study more about humanities.

I urge you to not be affected by the reviews that you read online but go and see this movie for yourself to judge on your own account. I must warn you though to not expect more of artsy film but to rather focus to the context of the story which I believe is the film's strongest characteristic.