The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
on the best-selling novel by John Boyne, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas,
the novel actually targeted a younger audience unlike the Miramax
interpretation which is directed by Mark Herman.
The movie also ignited
some controversy regarding the "facts" about the story and of course the
English accents of the "Germans" in the film. Pushing this aside, The
Boy in Striped Pyjamas is an interesting take on one of the world's
most horrendous moments of history, World War II and the use of
concentration camps by the Germans.
The story of this is seen through
the eyes of Bruno (Asa Butterfield), an 8-year old boy who tries to
interpret the atrocities of the time in his own eyes. Bruno's life was
perfect, until his father (David Thewlis), a commandant in the German
Military is called to run a concentration camp away from the German
Unfortunately for Bruno, he has left his friends behind in the
city and as he is stuck in a relatively isolated house in the
countryside. He decides to explore, much to the angst of this mother
(Vera Farmiga). Through the window of his room, Bruno sees what he
believes to be a farm that is in actual fact a concentration camp where
he meets Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), an 8-year old boy also incarcerated by
the Germans where the two form a strong friendship with a fence between
With the backdrop of
war around Bruno, the director gives us a meaningful insight into those
around our star such as his two loving parents who are conflicted by the
views of the Jewish people and his sister Gretal (Amber Beattie) who is
embracing the propaganda by their tutor. Bruno questions why the German
people have labelled the Jews as "evil", especially when he meets Pavel
(David Hayman), another Jew who has been ordered to assist the family
with menial tasks but seems quite harmless and "nice".
When Bruno sees a German officer chastise this man,
including his friend Shmuel, he questions the edicts of his father that
eventually leads to the powerful conclusion.
Although The Boy in
Striped Pyjamas was a passionate and powerful drama, there was this
deadly foreboding experience just simmering throughout the movie as the
viewer was expecting something horrendous to happen that nevertheless
does not impact on the shocking ending.
With some wonderful
cinematography, the video and audio quality is quite subdued and suits
the atmosphere of this movie. There are some additional special features
on the disc that go beyond the movie, including some interesting deleted
scenes. In conclusion, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is a powerful
movie that at times feels quite calculating in taking the viewer on this
emotional journey through the eyes of an 8-year old boy.
Friendship Beyond The Fence