Munich – The Edge of War ending explained – Will Chamberlain sign the treaty?

January 21, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Ending Explained, Film, Netflix, Streaming Service

This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film Munich: The Edge of War and will contain spoilers.

Ready Steady Cut film critic M.N. Miller calls Munich: The Edge of War “a piece of historical fanfiction that becomes an exciting war-time battle of wits.”

Before Adolph Hitler was, you know, Hitler, he was an annoying little man with a chip on his soldier and an ego the size of Europe. He was dipping his toes in the waters of Czechoslovakia to feel out the resistance before invoking his master plan. As Germany prepared to cross the Czech borders in 1938, England brainstormed a peaceful solution. Led by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Neville Chamberlain (Watchmen’s Jeremy Irons), heads to Munich with his team.

One of them is Chamberlain’s young and trusted aide, Hugh Legat (1917’s George MacKay). Legat happened to go to school with a young German diplomat, Paul von Hartmann (Je Suis Karl’s Jannis Niewöhner), at Oxford six years prior. (You see, Nazis need a top-quality education too). After von Hartmann’s plan for the Wehrmacht (a unified armed forces of Nazi Germany) to arrest Hitler when Hitler failed to invade, he requested to meet his old friend at the peace talks. He will hand him top secret information that proves his boss has no plans to honor the treaty he will sign.

His real plan is to take over Europe, and eventually, the world.

The Netflix film Munich: The Edge of war ending explained

Munich: The Edge of War is a work of fiction from Thomas Harris, known for writing fiction books on alternative or speculative history. It is important to note that this is not revisionist history, like Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Here, Chamberlain then ignores the evidence that Paul and Hugh show him. He signed the treaty anyway. He has Hitler sign an additional statement during the 1938 Munich Agreement. The Prime Minister had the crazy man sign a joint statement that he would no longer be a threat or invade any other country.  

Irons play Chamberlain as aloof, camera hungry, and a political animal. What he does here, what may look like an act of showmanship, is actually about self-sacrifice. This piece of paper ties Hitler to peace. If he violates that, Chamberlain will show the world the type of man he is. It’s an ace up his sleeve to allow the Allied powers to declare war legally.

This is important to Harris and the type of fiction he writes. Here, Chamberlain shows why he is a controversial figure who was largely blamed for his failure to take a tougher stance on Hiter during the 1938 talks. He was even blamed by Winston Churchill. Later, more recently, historians have taken a more favorable look at this leadership at the time. This film explores a speculative history of what he could have been thinking during some of these key decisions he made.

Essentially, that is what Munich: Edge of War is all about. Paul will fight for Germany to atone for his own mistakes for supporting Hitler early in his career. The failure of Western powers to take action and work with the currently planned insurrection (Operation Valkyrie) ultimately allowed the Allies to be tipped off to prepare for war. While Hugh, scared and burnt out, finds the courage others have that he was lacking up to this point.

Chamberlain and von Hartmann sacrificed their reputation (and most likely their lives) for their respected countries.

What did you think of the ending of the Netflix film Munich: The Edge of War? Comment below!

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