Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

What can I say about "The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas"?

It certainly was nothing like I expected.

I expected a dark, stark, "rats in camps", with a strong Anti-Natzi ending. 

Instead I found this to be a romp through the war through the eyes of this interesting boy, Bruno.

Bruno is 8, and his Dad is an important soldier one who makes the world a better place. So as part of his Dad being so important they have to move to the country, something Bruno is not so happy about, because it means leaving his 3 very-best-friends-in-the-whole-wide-word, behind in Berlin. Upon arriving, Bruno discovers there aren't any other kids to play with so he goes exploring...

He meets Shmuel, a boy who is a farmer, who wears striped pyjamas. I won't tell you more, you will just have to watch it.

The lighting in the movie is modern, so right up everything looks bright, light and like it could be happening today. Although sets, costumes, props, cars, streets etc all look convincingly of the era.

The acting is sublime, Bruno (played by Asa Butterfield, more recently of Enders Game) has the most amazing eyes, and he uses them so well to convey his naivety, curiosity, disbelief, and fear. Shmuel (played by Jack Scanlon) has a stillness about him that just seems to clear the screen, he conveys the sense of loss that his character would have endured, but with just the right amount of confusion about what was really going on around him. No, he KNOWS what's going on intuitively but he hasn't really put it all together yet, and quite rightly  states he did nothing wrong, he's there because he's a Jew.

The sudden and unexpected ending, tore me apart and delivered just what a movie of this calibre should. That is, it made me think, reflect upon and more importantly feel that what took place in those camps in WWII should never have happened, and once again the message was driven home that we must be ever-vigilant to ensure it never happens again.

Although its target audience is not children, I think that mature Children aged around 10 and older would cope with this movie. The violence in it is implied, and a sense of innocence is conveyed with a darker undercurrent that came more from my adult knowledge of what was really going on. 

So if like me, you have put off seeing this movie because you thought you couldn't cope with it, think again... 

As always I'd like to hear your thoughts...

1 comment:

  1. Hey again Jules,
    I also liked the perspective of naivety from privalage to this subject.
    It not only honestly told the German peoples side of this situation, the hidden genocide of the concentration camps was (in my view) historically acurate.
    The movie makers did as you say steer away from the stereotypical "rats in camps" genre, and the story was told more strongly from the 'other side' of the wire.
    It should never be forgotten that EVERYBODY in this conflict was a humain being and how quickly we can change within self-righteous situations.

    Another great review Jule, keep them coming