Enemy at the Gate

It may be a little early to think about next year’s Oscar nominees but in my opinion Enemy At The Gates looks like the real deal ( a contender for several awards for next year’s race). From the very first scene of the film we watched with mouths wide open. The cinematography and special effects were breathtaking. We are catapulted to Stalingrad, the Russian infantry are forced to attack the Germans who have been infiltrating European soil at an unprecedented rate. The Germans had more ammunition and easily defeated the Russian onslaught. Russian defectors and traitors were shot by their own comrades and intervening Soviet political officer Danilov (Joseph Fiennes) discovers Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law). Vassili, a sniper with his kill count printed in the local newspaper becomes a local inspiration and motivator to the people during the now famous battle of Stalingrad. The Germans hear of this publicity stunt by the Russians and in turn send their best sniper, Major Konig (Ed Harris) to Stalingrad, to deflate the hype and assassinate Vassili. Vassili and Danilov both fall in love with Tania (Rachel Weisz). This reenactment of a true story demonstrates a game of the hunter becoming the hunted as we see a classic chess game evolve between two great warriors doing whatever is necessary to kill the opponent. The story, the acting and the score must be seen to be appreciated, the sniper duels alone are worth the price of admission.