Dawn of Evil:Rise of the Reich

Joe Coyle 01/03/2001

Rating: 2.5/5

Potential is a strange thing. Dawn of the Evil is a film full of potential which is never fully realised. It is a film which is less than the sum of its parts. Excellent acting across the board, in particular from Tom Shilling (The Baader Meinhoff Complex) and Götz George as Adolf Hitler and Schlomo Herzl respectively. Fantastic cinematography by Jo Molitoris and a lush score by Enis Rotthoff.

The film follows a young Adolf Hitler's early years in Vienna. Where Adolf tries to join the Academy of Fine arts but is rejected as he fails the entrance exam. Hitler is quickly transformed into an egomaniacal human being with a ruthless obsession with power through a series of events which lead to him becoming increasingly angry with his situation. He then joins with a gang of German nationalists and becomes obsessed with revenge of those who he believes have conspired against him, in particular Jews.

Tom Shilling manages to do the unthinkable and humanises Hitler, making the audience empathise with Adolf is no mean feat and it is a testament to Tom's talent as an actor that the audience feels this way. With a performance of this magnitude it's a shame that the rest of the film doesn't match up.

Full of historical inaccuracies, poorly scripted and lacking any kind of melodramatic punch. Dawn of Evil:Rise of the Reich has so much potential its a shame it throws most of the goodwill generated by its good parts out of the window. You should watch it for the exquisite performance from Tom Shilling, a beautiful score which sometimes drives the action and cinematography which is well constructed and easy on the eye.

A chaotic mess which misses the potential to be great.