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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Old 11-26-08, 02:52 AM
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I saw this film the other day. Talk about a roundhouse kick to the face! Highly recommended to everyone. It might be a small film, but it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. Just be prepared to be knocked flat on your butt by this film.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by E. Honda View Post
I saw this film the other day. Talk about a roundhouse kick to the face! Highly recommended to everyone. It might be a small film, but it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. Just be prepared to be knocked flat on your butt by this film.
You said it, and then some. This movie tore me up. I felt completely beat up walking out of the theater. The subject matter is bad enough. Add two small and innocent kids, forget about it. Such a powerful movie. You will never forget it. One of the year's best.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:52 AM
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Despite the mixed reviews, this is high on my must-see list.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Geofferson View Post
Despite the mixed reviews, this is high on my must-see list.

You know, I don't get those mixed reviews. And quite frankly, they piss me off. I almost didn't go see the film because of it. Some calling it "heavy handed" and/or "manipulative". Bullshit! The holocaust is not something to be taken lightly. And there has never ever been a movie done like this. See it, please.
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Old 12-01-08, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
You know, I don't get those mixed reviews. And quite frankly, they piss me off. I almost didn't go see the film because of it. Some calling it "heavy handed" and/or "manipulative". Bullshit! The holocaust is not something to be taken lightly. And there has never ever been a movie done like this. See it, please.
I don't either and with many filmgoers raving about it from another website I frequent I might try and see this later this week.
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Old 12-01-08, 06:21 PM
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Saw it this weekend -- good movie! The 2 child actors are very good, as is the always excellent Vera Farmiga.
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Old 12-01-08, 08:33 PM
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The film, set in Germany during WWII, is a tale of innocence lost due to "rational" thought as it tells the story of a friendship that develops between 2 young boys, Bruno and Leon. Bruno is the son of a German officer who is transferred to the "countryside" to oversee a very important project. The whole family is moved to the countryside, and events take place to bring Leon to Bruno's attention. Shmuel is a boy dressed in what looks like striped pyjamas and lives in a compound-like farming spot, and Bruno doesn't quite understand many things about his new surroundings, but likes Shmuel's company as Bruno left behind his friends in the city, and Shmeul is his only friend in the countryside. Shmuel, obviously, is a Jewish boy who has been imprisoned simply for being a Jew or having Jewish parentage.

Don't be surprised if you want to just go and curl yourself into the fetal position after watching this film because the horrific tragedy on the holocaust is illustrated thusly, and with thought-provoking skill in crafting this film. Man's inhumanity towards another based solely on their religious beliefs is on full display. Systematically, to justify their atrocious behavior towards Jews, the Germans who ascribed to Hitler's views would villify them, calling them "vermin", etc. Bruno is an innocent boy, being told repeatedly what to believe by his father (in terms of how to treat Jews), though his mother falters in keeping a staunch face of hate towards the Jews as the film develops.

After watching the film, I'm reminded of the line from Sting's song "Russians" where he hopes "Russians love their children too." as this applies far too easily to Germans who supported Hitler's worldview, and acted accordingly, and looking back, the question of how does genocide ever become acceptable surely bubbles up ferociously to the surface, though it still happens today in other parts of the world, it's worthwhile to look back and see if we can learn lessons from the past if we are to become open to a better tomorrow for our children, our future.

I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+ (it's a film that will stay in your consciousness, though don't be surprised to find that there are other viewpoints who feel it's manipulative and heavy-handed).

(Corrected character name for the Jewish boy, who is Shmuel, not Leon).

Last edited by Patman; 12-05-08 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 12-01-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rkndkn View Post
Saw it this weekend -- good movie! The 2 child actors are very good, as is the always excellent Vera Farmiga.
Yes, she was brilliant. And as I posted in the Oscar prediction thread, I think (in the perfect world) she deserves a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
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Old 12-02-08, 06:31 AM
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I think the film was somewhat manipulative and totally unrealistic (that anything like it could have happened) but I don't count that against it (much). It's more of a fable. It was the only way to tell the story that was told and it was well worth telling. Very powerful and thought provoking. I wouldn't say it's one of the best films of the year but it's close. Comparisons I've seen with Life is Beautiful (which I hated) are ridiculous.

Last edited by movielib; 12-02-08 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 12-02-08, 10:20 PM
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Saw it a few weeks ago, recommended. Good acting and story.

Movielib, I would agree with you on some points. I don't know how defiant the mother would've been to her high-ranking husband and same with his mom, but it pulls you in, so the audience has some adults to latch onto.
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Old 12-03-08, 05:42 AM
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Ok movie, but the thing that got me was why use British(assuming by the accents) actors. I would have to think the studio heads and filmakers knew going in that this wasnt a movie for everyone, and the audience they were going to get wouldnt mind subtitles, so make the damn thing in german. It really took away from the movie for me to hear their accents.
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Old 12-04-08, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by beavis69 View Post
Ok movie, but the thing that got me was why use British(assuming by the accents) actors. I would have to think the studio heads and filmakers knew going in that this wasnt a movie for everyone, and the audience they were going to get wouldnt mind subtitles, so make the damn thing in german. It really took away from the movie for me to hear their accents.
I agree, and I thought David Thewlis wasn't the right choice for his character. He just kind of stood around and sneered... ewww menacing, give me a break. I thought the script was awful. I guessed so many of the lines before they were uttered. And the visual symbolism, okay yes, the new house is a fortress/cage. It also didn't help that the everything was one dimensional or forced, nothing was subtle, because of the material and source, the perspective of the child's view of a "sheltered" war, we the audience also felt jipped and reduced. The only thing I did like was the ending, yes, it's jarring, sudden and sad, but everything that preceeded it felt all too Hallmark movie of the week-esque.
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Old 12-04-08, 06:52 PM
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Read the book this fall...which is why I'm torn on this one.

The book was fantastic, I just don't know if I can take the emotional roller-coaster the film would certainly put me on. I know it'd be an instant Blu-Ray buy for me if I do not see it in the theater, though.

Interseting to see they changed the name of Bruno's friend from Schmuel (or something like that) to Leon for the film. Don't really see the reason for that.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by indianajdp View Post
Read the book this fall...which is why I'm torn on this one.

The book was fantastic, I just don't know if I can take the emotional roller-coaster the film would certainly put me on. I know it'd be an instant Blu-Ray buy for me if I do not see it in the theater, though.

Interseting to see they changed the name of Bruno's friend from Schmuel (or something like that) to Leon for the film. Don't really see the reason for that.
I was talking to a friend last night about the movie, and he and I agreed the story works as a book, but as a movie it felt slighted.
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Old 12-05-08, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by indianajdp View Post
Read the book this fall...which is why I'm torn on this one.

Interseting to see they changed the name of Bruno's friend from Schmuel (or something like that) to Leon for the film. Don't really see the reason for that.
Actually, his name is Shmuel in the film; Leon is someone else.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:00 PM
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Sorry about confusing Leon (older Jew) with Shmuel (young Jewish boy) in my review, which is now corrected.
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Old 12-06-08, 11:30 AM
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I rarely venture from Otter and the Politics forum, but I saw this movie last night and it was so powerful that I had to post. I hope that its somber message will not deter people from seeing it. As the final credits rolled I kept recalling Shakespeare's quote, "See what a scourge is laid upon your hate ..."

Very, very powerful.
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