A Stunning Movie

Many movies have been made to capture the emotional horror of World War II. These movies are full of drama and morality and complexity. But no movie has quite captured the terrifying simplicity of what the “final solution” for the Jews entailed until The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

This movie, based on a novel by John Boyne, tells the story of World War II through the remarkably innocent and naïve eyes of an 8-year-old boy. Only, Bruno (Asa Butterfield) isn’t the little boy in the concentration camp, but the son of the man who commands the camp.

Director Mark Herman (Hope Springs) filmed the movie with profound simplicity. This effect allows for Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), who’s a boy from the camp, to be genuine. The simplicity also allows the movie to be told through Bruno’s eyes. We share Bruno’s confusion, fear, and inability to see “evil” in Shmuel.

It’s the adults, especially Mother (Vera Farmiga, The Departed) and Father (David Thewlis, The Omen), who bring the discussions of morality to the film. But the innocence remains because Bruno is a still boy, looking only for an adventure and a friend .  

There is no over analysis, and the character development is smooth and simple. The idea presented through the boys is powerful and horrifying. It deals with the same innocence seen in The Dairy of Anne Frank and the same questions of good and evil seen in Schindler’s List.

When this movie ended, no one in my theater moved for a long time. We were stunned. I can assure you, even if you view this movie at home, you too will sit in stunned silence.

The Boy in Striped Pajamas will be released on DVD March 10th, next Tuesday. I insist you see this movie, for it will surely be a classic. My only warning, this movie is about WWII and the loss of innocence – do not watch if you want a laugh.

Click here to view a trailer.

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No Comments on "A Stunning Movie"

  1. Mel
    12/03/2009 at 1:20 pm Permalink

    Sounds emotional. I usually don’t watch those, but you’ve intrigued me.

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