I would like to focus the attention of my blog post on the themes and motifs surrounding the main character Hendrik. It was very interesting to me how the Nazi takeover was explained through the use of this one character. Hendrik’s acting career, just like the Nazi regime, had very humble beginnings, but they were both of the evil and sociopathic nature. The first scene of the film is Hendrik cheating on his wife with Julianna, and the ferociousness and aggressiveness of the scene shows that Hendrik may be a little on the crazy side. As the film progresses, and Hendrik’s stardom grows, he finds himself surrounded by more women that he continues to sleep with until he eventually stumbles on the part of Mephisto, who’s face is described as “pure evil” by the Nazi leader.
The rise of the Nazi empire is synonymous with the rise of stardom by Hendrik as well as the growth of the character Mephisto until Hendrik becomes engulfed by the thought of maintaining his image with the Nazi leaders until he realizes that he ultimately has no power in the final scene. This is another film where no character is likable which adds to the gloominess of the Nazi takeover.
I also found the undressing of Hendrik with Julianna very interesting because while he was undressing you could see Julianna in the mirror, but her image was out of focus almost as if to show that in the end, all Hendrik cared about was his own image. Hendrik eventually was destroyed by the power he thought he had just as the power of the Nazi regime destroyed most of western Europe.