‘Munich – The Edge of War‘ is a pre-war drama directed by Christian Schwochow. The movie made its debut at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival with a wide release in 2022 on Netflix.
In 1938, Hugh Legat (George MacKay) serves as a secretary and translator for British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Jeremy Irons). Chamberlain is determined to maintain peace in Germany by appeasing Adolf Hitler (Ulrich Matthes) as a treaty is set to be signed in Munich. Legat’s work is putting distance between him and his Pamela (Jessica Brown Findlay). He is approached by MI6, who order him to contact his old Oxford friend Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner) who works in Hitler’s press office. Paul has evidence Hitler has no plans for peace and means to conquer all of Europe by force. With time running out, they have to do everything they can to convince Chamberlain to listen.
I will not comment on the historical accuracy as I am sure many others have, so I will focus on this simply as it exists as a cinematic experience.
Now, it was not a perfect film. Some of the side characters were intrusive and felt more like annoying pets than good additions. The music also felt somewhat bland, though not terrible. That being said, the good of the movie has way more positive elements than bad.
First of all, I really enjoyed the acting. Both MacKay and Niewöhner are excellent protagonists who do a good job of conveying the emotions of the moment. They definitely made me feel the stakes of the time, showing how tensions were high as the world marched toward war.
Jeremy Irons was superb as Neville Chambers. A lot of media I have watched has displayed him as either an incompetent fool or a fame-seeking politician. Instead, Irons chooses to present a man of depth, who witnessed the horrors of the Great War and desperately wants to maintain peace. It was a nice change of pace and offered a good take.
I also felt like a good ol’ fashioned war movie. Sure, it lacked some of the battle sequences that are known in that genre. However, its plot kept my attention as I watch the characters and historical figures navigate through the events. It kept my attention and I enjoyed it a great deal. The tension the scenes build in some portions was truly engaging.
Bottom line, Munich – The Edge of War is a solid drama that tells a riveting story and has a superb performance by Jeremy Irons. It is definitely one to add to the watchlist.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Thematic elements, Some foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: You’d make a terrible spy.
Check out the trailer below:
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