This will be my first “in 5” movie review. So without further ado here is The Monuments Men in 5:
Well the story of The Monuments Men is based on true events, a group of artists, museum curators, architects, etc. get together to save the important pieces of artwork in Europe before the Fuhrer destroys them. This story can be both very interesting and different but on the other hand since it’s mixing different themes the story might feel crutched at times. I enjoyed the story even though at some points I felt that it dragged and other points I felt there wasn’t enough; pacing should’ve been fixed during the postponing of the movie. I still don’t see a set directing style for Clooney and hopefully this will be something he improves over the years. This is the second problem I had with the movie, the first one will come up later.
One of the things that the movie did indeed get right was the balance of comedy and drama; at moments the movie feels very funny (most of the time) but they mirror perfectly how deep and though are the dramatic moments. For instance whenever Donald Jeffries we had a light moment coming to it and then darkness but after that we had something to bring us up again and I think this represents what the characters went through and what soldiers go through, there is so much death and hardship in war but there is always a ray of light that can cheer people up. More importantly the dramatic points drive the movie, giving purpose to the characters and develop the story along.
3. Character Development
This is where I think the movie felt short the most, the movie had many characters, but by no means they should’ve put such a big crutch on everyone’s development. What happened was that we think we have the main characters Frank and James (Clooney and Damon) but at the same time the other characters are trying to play catch up with them, creating a lack of layers to everyone. We knew very little of the characters and I feel that a little more of a back story would’ve helped the movie, specially for characters like Donald. At the end we see the group evolving as an unit but individually they fall behind and with it they put a big weight on the quality of the movie. However, Cate Blanchett’s character, Claire Simone, was the best one developed and as always she gave us a great performance.
2. Art and Culture
The main purpose of the movie, what I think many people failed to grasp, is that people are important but their legacy (specially when involves complete cultures) are equally important. We have at the end of the movie a scene where the president asks Frank if the deaths were worth it and at the end he says yes; I think this was the most important scene of the movie because after all the hardships, they completed their mission, but their mission is so much grander than people think. On the movie they say (paraphrasing) “if you kill some people of a culture, they will get back up and carry on; but if destroy their past and their achievements, where do they go from there?” basically our achievements as humans carry a big significance on our culture and our future and loosing that can destroy complete civilizations, and that is something worth fighting for. I really liked the moral decisions and the teachings that came with this movie, and that is the reason I recommend people to see it.
1. The Monuments Men
As I said before the individual characters fell behind on development, but they did grow as a group; which is very important for ensemble kind of movies. The chemistry among everyone was amazing and their performances just enhanced this, seeing some of the best and well known actors together brings a special kind of joy; but when you see them interact it just brings something completely differently. I do wish other members of the gang had gotten a chance to interact with Cate Blanchett, I think her character was the best thing of the movie and maybe she would’ve forced other characters to develop.
The Monuments Men is a movie about history, art, war, but at it’s core is about a group of men trying to save what it matters to them the most and that is always something nice to watch. Although not a great movie, The Monuments Men does have it’s strong points, very very funny and great performances. I give it a 6/10.