The Pointer at the Movies: “The Monuments Men”

Movies can be viewed in many ways, such as from a consumer standpoint or from a more technical standpoint, like that of a filmmaker.

For these film reviews we will analyze movies from both perspectives in order to give an in-depth look at the world of cinema. 

This week we reviewed the movie “The Monuments Men,” written and directed by George Clooney.

Photo of courtesy cltampa.com

Photo of courtesy cltampa.com

The movie, based on true events, features an ensemble cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman ,and Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), and  follows seven art collectors who join forces to recover stolen art pieces from the Nazis. The group divides to cover more ground in an attempt to prevent Nazis from destroying more art as the war comes to an end.

The film’s cinematography comes off an unconventional for a traditional blockbuster war movie because of the framing and style. A traditional movie has medium, long and close up shots, whereas this movie plays with different perspectives the viewer is maybe not familiar with.

It seemed that the color palette of the film is mainly limited to blues, browns, grays, and black. The colors really play along with the themes of scenes. As in some scenes when the viewer is supposed to be sad, the color reflects it.

As the film goes on, the color palette gets warmer, which reflects the story’s movement.

The score, composed by Alexander Desplat (“Argo”), was used more in transitioning from character to character, with the exception of a montage scene.

Desplat likes to score his films so that the audience knows the music is present, where as some composers like to blend their music to the point of almost hiding the score. Desplat does not do this in “The Monuments Men.”

The movie had some overarching themes. People rarely appreciate art’s origins, but this movie sheds light on those that protected this art from being destroyed as it really pushed for the protection of the arts movement.

The story as a whole is one that is not all that talked about, and neither of us had heard about this mission until the movie was released.

If the movie fails at everything else but to educate the public about the bravery that these men offered in protecting the art of generations, and saving the art for generation to come, then the film is a success.

While the story is important there were some things that we didn’t like. The movie was paced in choppy fashion, and some transitions were awkward and jumpy in some parts.

While the movie offered a lot of comic relief and there were some very serious topics being discussed. The movie almost had an identify crisis between being a comedy and a harsh drama.

Movies can be fun and serious at the same time, but in “The Monuments Men” the transitioning between comedy and drama seemed kind of robotic in its story telling.

The movie was not really about the characters, but more what they stood for and what they accomplished in their mission.

Many reviewers bashed the movie and we can see where they are coming from, but overall the film was better than we thought it would be.

This story needed to be told and they did a semi-effective job of telling it. We would recommend waiting until the movie is released on DVD and then checking it out.

Kyle Behnke

kbehn697@uwsp.edu

Will Rossmiller

wross460@uwsp.edu

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