Mephisto was not one of my favorite movies. I felt like the movie was really dragged out and took a while to actually unfold. Also, it was not among the easiest of movies to follow. However this may have been due to the movie being in German and having to read subtitles instead of listening. This is not to say that the movie was not well constructed.
The scene that stuck out to me the most was actually the final scene. Heinz is asked to meet the Nazi general alone, and does so. While walking down that hallway up to the arena where the general suggested would stage future plays, we hear the echo of their footsteps. As the men are walking down this hallway, this echo is diegetic sound that the actors are able to hear as well. It sounded very similar to what it would sound like if individuals were marching in a concentration camp.
Following this, Heinz is instructed to go down into the center of the “stage.” The Nazi general shrieks Heinz’s name. The echo it makes functions to show his dominance over not only Heinz, but all those surrounding him as well. Here we see one long cut with Heinz attempting to escape the lights shining down on him. Meanwhile, the power of the Nazi general is depicted with him looking down on Heinz. Heinz is helpless in the middle of the stage, running from one corner to the next. The bright white lights are sucking everything out of him as we see the color being drawn out of his face as well. He continues to struggle and cannot make this stop. He soon comes to the realization that he has been left absolutely devoid of any power he may have once had. Heinz gives one last yell as he admits that he is just an actor, meaning that he does not make his own decisions. He simply does as told, playing the role assigned to him. The camera then goes and freezes at a close up of his white, helpless face.