2009-08-24

Movie Review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

This is the first in the series of reviews I will post on this blog in the title form "[Category] Review: [Title...]".
Last night my cousins and I decided to watch a movie, so that's the one we picked.
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It's about a German boy who's dad is a Nazi SS Guard who has been restationed such that he and his family live near the Jewish death camp that he must lead. The boy loves exploring on his own and soon finds the camp, meeting a Jewish boy in the camp across the fence in the process and becoming friends with the Jewish boy.
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(I may use tongue-in-cheek HTML syntax a lot. However, they will be in square brackets as the text editor interprets tongue-in-cheek HTML as real HTML, so the syntax won't show up when published - only blanks will.)
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The boy, on the day he and his family must move away, digs a hole under the fence to get into the camp to play with the Jewish boy in disguise of a boy in the camp. However, all of the Jews in the labor camp are rounded up, and while the family tries to find their missing son, the boy and his Jewish friend are sentenced to death by gassing and are gassed (too late for the family to save him).
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I actually learned of the ending from one of the cousins who stayed up to watch it. I didn't have the guts to continue when the boy started digging under the fence.
The film makers did an excellent job with the movie, what with all of the great dialogue, shots, and background music. The music was oddly playful and ominous simultaneously and that's what made it so freaky.
Granted, I can easily be scared by a movie scene, but this was really disturbing from start to finish. All Holocaust movies are, and though I haven't seen a particularly graphic one yet, this is still a chilling movie.
My cousin who suggested it said it's a kid's Holocaust movie.
(1) That's not possible simply because of what the Holocaust was.
(2) It may technically be true if only in relation to other more graphic Holocaust movies.
He also suggested that this was the best way to introduce them to the subject. I beg to differ. I would suggest, as it is done today, a light discussion of it at school and then a serious follow-up at home or at school later. This is the best way to clear up the many doubts that form in the younger child's mind.
Sure, it's rated PG because it has no sex, violence, or profanity, but it is an extremely weighty subject that needs to be dealt with carefully.
I think it's a great movie, but it should be re-rated to PG-13 (at least), because it's definitely not kid-friendly if only because of the underlying subject matter itself.

1 comment:

  1. I agree; it should have been rated PG-13.

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