"We're sinking! we're sinking!!
Portrays an accurate depiction of Submarine life
Long, gets dry in spots
When I learned of the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk, I silently prayed for a positive outcome. Having served in the U.S. Navy, and having worked on submarines, I understood that there was a risk every time that a submarine went out to sea. Still, seeing the pictures of the families waiting for the news of their loved ones was still a bit spooky. That could have been some of my friends wives waiting there. So I thought that I would get back into the spirit by watching a war movie or two.
Luck suddenly struck me while rummaging around our local Costco(trying to stay under $100).I managed to local Das Boot-The director's cut for $15. After only ten minutes of pleading to my wife that it was a "must-own", she finally caved in and allowed me to put it in our cart. At my house, I usually get a fifteen minute lecture before going to Costco about spending too much money on things that we didn't need, so getting this DVD was a trick.
One thing to note about this movie which may turn off some people. It is a movie which depicts life as a World War II German Submariner. The movie producers tried to re-create as much as possible, the life inside a German submarine. They did this by having the actors stay out of the sun, avoid shaving for months, and by actually shooting the film in a metal "tube" (instead of a cut-a-way). Some parts of the film are very intense and bring up subjects which are not normally thought about when making a movie. Subjects such as "Crabs! A whole army of them!", and meat where you have to cut the hair off, which has grown on it while you have been out to sea. Those are just a couple of examples.
The director Wolfgang Peterson wasn't trying to make a movie which would somehow explain "Nazi-ism". He was trying to make a movie which showed how the other side lived and fought, and just portrayed them for what they were. Scared boys caught up in a lost cause.
The reason for my interest in this movie was the fact that it was a movie about how they LIVED. It wasn't about who won or lost. It was about humanity and survival. Imagining how I would react in those situations..etc.
I can't really compare this movie to any other movie since it is unique and in it's own class. The characters are complex. They are patriotic and disillusioned, however they understand their odds of making it through the war alive.
If you want a true look at submarine life in WWII (I'm sure that U.S. submariners suffered some of the similar problems) then this movie is for you. If you are looking for a feel-good war movie then you might want to pick up a different movie.