Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Book Thief - Movie Review

So, I was lucky enough to get my grubby little hands on a pair of preview tickets for the movie adaptation of Markus Zusak’s; The Book Thief.  Set in Germany before and during world war two, the Book Thief follows the story of a young girl named Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) who is adopted by Hans and Rosa Hubermann when her mother finds that she cannot cope after her brother passes away.

It’s rare for me find a movie where I do not have any negative criticism, I will try my best to avoid spoilers however I hold no guarantees.

The open shots are class; we see the German landscape in pure unrivalled beauty, which is carried along through the film resulting in a grand total of zero ugly scenes. Even the ones which towards the end which show the pain and devastation of the people caught in middle of war are beautiful.

The story is guaranteed to make you ball and cry yet it ends on the most happiest of notes. We see a life that was lived to it full. You end up rooting for every character, even Ludwig. You almost feel like you know them.

Sophie Nélisse’s performance was way beyond her years, she took the role and played with more gusto and respect than any audit actor, it was remarkably brave of her to take on such a strong character which I suspect many fans have taken to their heart.  Did I mention? She’s only 13. If Nélisse keeps this up, she will have the most amazing future ahead of her.

The same can be extended to her co-star Nico Liersch, his portrayal of Rudy Steiner was on such a level that if the current adult actors don’t watch there then they will be taken by Steiner, we saw emotions and power that the Hollywood elite would kill for. Liesel’s love interest is one of the few that has not made me want to throw up on the director, I was willing them, I wanted them to spend the rest of their lives together and go on amazing adventures.

Liesel adoptive parents are in a word, phenomenal. We are introduced to them early on in the film where we are greeted by the kind Hans who chooses to refer to Liesel as ‘her majesty’ and Rosa who is disappointed to find that only one child has arrived, not the two that she was expecting.  However as we progress through the film we see beyond Rosa’s cold exterior and see that inside she has the most warm and loving heart in the world. Emily Watson’s portrayal of Rosa is one the best examples of character development in film. Geoffrey Rush and Emma Watson gave a master class on pure acting.

I then found myself wanting to care for Max Vandenburg who just arrives on Hunermann’s doorstep almost unannounced, we are introduced to him about a quarter of the way into the movie where he forced to leave his mother and seek refuge at Hunermann’s. His love of words and stories bring Liesel together, one scene that really shows this is when Max asks Liesel to tell him what the weather is like outside, he then asks her to ‘tell’ him, if her eyes could see, what would they say?

Special mention should be given to John Williams who has produced let another legendary soundtrack, unlike his more well-known work such as Star Wars and anything directed by Steven Spielberg, John Williams kept it simple, the piano theme which works its way through the movie, practically tells the story on its own.

I left the cinema speechless, I am sad that I have wait until the 26th
before I can see this movie, I am also sad that The Book thief has not received as much promotion as it truly deserves. This is a story will most likely stay with you forever and everyone should see it at least once.

No comments:

Post a Comment