Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas

WORTH-IT: (Mark Herman) Based on the novel by John Boyne, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is an utterly heartbreaking tale of the innocence lost around the world during WWII. 8-year-old Bruno, the son of a Nazi Concentration Camp Commanding Officer, has no concern for learning the current events happening in his "fatherland." He would much rather go exploring. Even when the family relocates closer to the camp, Bruno has no idea what his father really does, or why they even moved out of the city. He's just heartbroken to leave his friends. Who will he play with? What will there be to do? A possible answer comes when he notices a strange farm with a few children just past his new backyard. Unfortunately, the "farm" and the children are off-limits. But Bruno eventually lets his adventuresome nature take over and is off exploring the forbidden woods in no time. Eventually his trail leads him to a barbed wire fence, no doubt surrounding the farm, wherein sits a boy his age, dressed in pajamas and looking bored to tears. Bruno sets out to become friends, poking fun at his peculiar name and silly pajamas, but also bringing snacks and games for the two to play together. Bruno knows little about the genocide happening before his eyes, and remains jaded to the life his new friends lives beyond the fence. Subconsciously knows to keep his new friendship a secret, although never putting together what the putrid burning smell is coming from the big chimneys outside the camp, or questioning why the farmers have to wear pajamas. Only when Bruno witnesses a violent reprimanding against one of the farmers does he realize something dreadfully wrong is going on. Pyjamas is about a family torn by right and wrong, duty and morale, family and country. Although the downfall rests in the fact that this film was done in English, Herman was able to mesh together enough deeply pent emotion that language proved certainly secondary, and that in this film the story came through, no matter what language it should have been in. Hard to accept and tragic to know, this film wrecks havoc on the soul and instills a powerful disbelief in the inhumanity that once existed.

1 comment:

Tim Rondeau said...

This movie still has me puzzled. I almost feel like the ending of this movie was a cheap way to leave the audience stupefied, unable to realize the flaws of the movie. I described the ending of the movie to a group of girls and they were almost in tears just hearing me describe it. I guess my point is that the ending was so powerful that the movie didn't have to be good for the audience to have a strong emotional response and attachment. That doesn't mean the movie wasn't good, but I'm having trouble making up my mind. The powerful performance by Vera Farmiga certainly works in the movie's favor. Either way, just my two cents.