At last, a movie maker who recognises that those of us who use film to learn a language, appreciate subtitles in that langauge. So the movie offers subtitles in both English and German, If the dialogue is unclear, we can use the subtitles to help without cheating by switching to English. I wish more foreign films had this option. The movie itself is very original, avoiding the stereotypes of war and taking an unusual view of a familiar subject.
The novel The Erl King is a complex and deeply psychological book which this film conveys not by its mistranslated title but by the sombre filming. The sense that the main character is both a victim as much as victimiser is well conveyed but john malkovitch often seems a too attractive figure and the balance is skewed. It deserved a more in depth characterization.