Schlöndorff's The Tin Drum is one of the greatest masterpieces of German New Wave cinema. The film shared the 1979 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or with Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. Like Apocalypse Now, The Tin Drum combines real wartime drama with fantasy elements. Although I had considered Apocalypse Now one of my favorite films for a good portion of my life, I now consider The Tin Drum (among other European war films) a much superior film. The world of The Tin Drum is a much more distant and dark world than Apocalypse Now could have ever hoped to be.
The Tin Drum mainly focuses on the time period before the rise of the Nazi party and the eventual destructive fall of Germany. On his third birthday, Oskar has decided he has contempt for the adult world and vows to never grow up. On that some birthday, Oskar receives a tin drum which he bangs on in an act of defiance against all that he hates (especially Nazis). He also has the ability to break glass with his girly high pitch screaming. One things is for sure; little Oskar is one disturbing little turd.
I must say that I don't care much for the character of little Oskar. He lacks any type of rationality and unintentionally leads his family into harmful situations. I almost felt cheated when the young chap survives the war at the end of the film. I was hoping some large building might topple over Oskar and his wretched drum. He never really learns how to play it.