SkaneNoise’s review published on Letterboxd:
I kept thinking of Crowded Houses ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’.
But seriously, this is a good example of a well written, well acted, well scored, good looking film by a very boring director or film-assembler but not editor as the basic editing was just fine.
My two main beefs are that the atmosphere was totally lacking, we should have felt the dread of these losers losing their entire everything. It should have been an inverted Helm’s Deep. And the film just wasn’t true to its set-up. It pretends to be from the secretaries POV but it is not, while Hitler is there we are watching this from Hitler and his wingmen’s point of view with just a dash of secretary insights here and there.
It was like a basic telling from the bad guy’s perspective without investing us. We don’t need to agree with the ideology of the monster men when we have other eyes to experience this hell from.
Either open with the real life woman being interviewed or open with the secretary being hired. Having those back to back may feel logical but it put too much weight on the character of the secretary when the film doesn’t really want to see things through her eyes. It wants to play with Hitler. Roger Ebert once bitched that the dinosaurs were on the screen too much for Jurassic Park to be effective (one of his most moronic and missing-the-point takes ever), I would say that Hitler was on screen in this film too much to make this film as effective as it could have been.
I like that they tried to humanize inhumane people because all the inhumane people around us right now are allegedly humans too and it’s nice to try and grapple with that upsetting reality. It’s just not so easy to always see monsters for what they are and it is a little too easy for us to believe we would never fall into and accept a monsterous world, which we do and have and will again. Yes, even you.
But the movie wants to be a textbook and a movie but we’re not reading a textbook we’re watching a movie and sometimes filmmakers forget that. It would be like turning on a song and hearing a basic drumbeat with a decent groove in the bass but hearing Noam Chomsky’s weak ass 90 plus year old voice droning in monotone with a deep and soft grumble in great detail about the three main functions of the linguistic theory. Yeah, it’s technically a fucking song but spiritually it’s just a ted talk.
I’m not saying this movie is boring, it’s not, the story and actors carry it right through and make it an easy and watchable film.
Alternate title - Tea with Hitler