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What is it making the film, "Das Boot", stand out from the plethora of war films? Why was this film, with subtitles and roughly German World War 2 soldiers, popular enough in America to earn six Academy Award nominations? 1 possible response is the characters. Like so many other epics, the feeling of viewing pleasure goes beyond the extreme plot and to the intricacy and familiarity with their building blocks of each story: the figures. Director Wolfgang Petersen's mastery is in bringing the viewer in that unlucky submarine, makes everybody a participant in the terror as one of the roles, producing the sensation of no escape. Then, after Petersen gets the audience "at" that the submarine, he gifts us with a duality in character type; you will find guys determined to salvage the assignment and thwart disaster, as well as others that are helpless in assisting their comrades, doomed to be inadequate and bothersome. When Petersen has depicted this conflict, It's easy to see how the amount of anxiety is so high from the submarine. The movie starts with the submarine crew healthy and drunk, trying to appreciate their last moments prior to their departure. Knowing that the likelihood of returning alive are minimal, the men seem to projecting their instinct to the stars as they frolic foolishly and even tastelessly. Petersen is presenting the viewer with a group of rowdy boys full of life and indifferent for their own future, in stark contrast with the guys who arrive in the Mediterranean port afterwards in the film. At this time, most of the men are equals, ready to confront the sea and serve their Nation. While from the submarine, the nature of these men varies. No longer are they a homogeneous group; instead lots of...