September 22, 2020

BY KELSEY DUNBAR

“Hungry?” Lt. Frank Stokes asks.

“You buying?” James Granger replies.

“No. Uncle Sam is,” Stokes says.

The Monuments Men, based on a novel by Robert Edsel, revolves around what is called the greatest treasure hunt in history. The movie takes place at the tail end of the Second World War when an unlikely group of men are selected to go overseas into Germany, the centre of the war zone. Their mission is to track down culturally significant monuments, fine arts and archives that the Nazi army had stolen for Hitler’s Fuhrer Museum.

“If you destroy an entire generation of people’s culture, it’s as if they never existed. That’s what Hitler wants, and it’s the one thing we can’t allow,” says Stokes, who is played by George Clooney.

The story is an amazing tale and quite serious, however, comedy is brought into it by the great lineup of cast members, notably Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Duhardin.

Because of the heart-wrenching issues of the concentration camps and the culture of Jewish people going up in flames, the movie should not have been portrayed in a light-hearted manner. Although the one-liners keep the audience entertained, the historical story itself is much more interesting than what the script was.

“We have been tasked to find and protect buildings, monuments and art … This is our history and it’s not to be stolen or destroyed,” Stokes says.
An honourable mention goes to Cate Blanchett, who plays a French curator with the Nazi army. Her passion and convincing acting made me feel as if more than just painted canvas and chunks of stone were at risk.

I give this film three out of five stars.

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