The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas [2008] Movie Review Recommendation

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas [2008]

There are so many movies about the WWII that you would think the subject has been looked at from all angles. Of course, that can never be true, because of the sheer scale of the event. Based on a book written by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a very powerful drama that will stay with you for a long time. The story is told from the eyes of an eight-year-old boy and this gives the entire movie a very special vibe. Towards the final third, the perspective shifts and we are treated to another angle of the same car crash that we call life. Boyne used child’s innocent mind to describe the horrors  that were unfolding all around him. However, he’s not alone here. As you probably guessed, script was superb with fully fleshed out characters that were very realistic and intense. This is where that old school British style of theater acting excels, with all of the actors simply nailing their roles. The pacing is a bit slower, but this is a drama and there’s this awkward anticipation in the air that makes the atmosphere very intense and you simply lose track of time.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas [2008] Movie Review Recommendation PosterMeet Bruno, a curious young boy living with his parents in Germany. It is the year 1940 and war is spreading all over the world, with Germany spearheading the chaos. When his father gets promoted, the entire family will move from the city to a small village. Bruno doesn’t like this change since he cannot find any friends here, but he soon meets a young boy in the striped pyjamas…

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas simply disarms its viewers by being very intelligent and subdued when needed. There are no big melodramatic scenes like those television movies where your main goal is to go through the purge of emotions in order to feel better. Those are products created to be used by people who don’t want to think about the hard stuff and they imitate their intellectual lives with them. This movie is not just about Holocaust, fascism or two young boys, it’s something much more than that. It’s a time machine, we can use and try to understand how on Earth could such horrible things happen. And how we can prevent them from happening again. One final note, rarely we get the opportunity to ponder upon these questions while watching cinematography like this. Wide shots of beautiful German rural valleys, old buildings and new walls and barbed fences, everything looked and felt all too real, only amplifying the effects the story. This is one of those that will stay with you, enjoy.

Director: Mark Herman

Cast: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, Zac Mattoon O’Brien

Fun Stuff: Vera Farmiga, who plays Bruno’s mother, is shown wearing her wedding band on her right hand. In Germany, this is correct, and it is an excellent and accurate detail.


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