Enemy At The Gates


Enemy At The Gates Essay, Research Paper

Enemy at The Gates

The film begins in 1942. It records the following 180 days. Days on which the fate

of the civilized world hangs. It is the epic contest between the Red Army of Russia and

the Nazi forces of Germany for Stalingrad.

Joseph Fines plays Political Officer 2nd Class Danilov. In a scene, he becomes the

man who is permanently charged with inspiring the Russian forces with stories of Vassili

the hero.

Jude Law plays Vassili Zaitsev. Vassili is a simple shepherd from the Urals. An

excellent marksmen who, with 5 well-aimed rounds from a rifle, becomes a Russian


Ed Harris plays Major Koenig. Koenig becomes the redeemer of German pride,

the symbol of Nazi supremacy. The sharpshooter is assigned to locate and eliminate


Rachel Weisz plays Tania. Her parents fled on a refugee train. She is orphaned

when the Germans massacre those onboard. She becomes a soldier to seek vengeance

Garbriel Thomson plays Sasha. Sasha is the youngster caught in world of total

war. He soon becomes the human thread that tells Danilov of where and when Major

Koenig is, so he can tell Vassili the location to take him down.

In this movie, a group of Soviet soldiers are being transported across a river to

take up arms in the defense of Stalingrad. Their boats are attacked by Nazi aircrafts. Ships

are blown out of the water and unarmed men, who are packed in like sardines, are

machine gunned. Those who jump overboard to escape are shot down by their own


Things get worse once the troops land. They are rushed into battle, but only every

other man gets a rifle. Facing overpowering German odds, many of those who survive the

onslaught attempt to retreat and are again shot down by their own officers for being


The main focus of this drama is the war-within-a-war fought by Vassilli and

a German sharpshooter, Major Koenig (Ed Harris), sent from Berlin for the express

purpose of stopping him.

Vassilli (Jude Law) is an unassuming rural soldier who merely performs his duty

with extraordinary skill. He is quiet, self-effacing and modest. He does not consider

himself a hero, but a soldier doing his duty. But the Soviet propaganda machine led by

Danilov (Joseph Fiennes) uses him as a tool to boost morale in the soldiers. The Soviet

press publishes his daily kill count. The battle is between Vassilli and Koenig, as each tries

to learn about the other and anticipate each others moves.

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