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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - 10/9/2008 11:34:20 PM   
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- 10/9/2008 11:34:20 PM   
liviclyde


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From: The Booth
Just finished watching this and all I can say is I feel emotionally drained.

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RE: - 12/9/2008 9:06:40 PM   
Lightfoot

 

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Was looking forward to this one. Generally getting good reviews across the board, though always with a sense of qualification. Review after review said the ending was traumatic and punchy.

I walked away quite disappointed.

It's such a toothless film, almost like a telemovie. More than one essay has commented on the questionability of "Disnefying" the Holocaust, and I sorta gotta admit, it feels almost disrespectful to give such a sombre topic such a light treatment. 

It's not a bad film, but it's so twee it hurts sometimes, and it doesn't help that the entire cast are speaking in plummy English accents, like bloody chimney sweeps; "'ere, what's that guv? Them jews givin' you a hard time? Bit of a stickey wicket, wot?" It also has the worst, most vapid, generic barebones piano-and-strings score I've heard in a while.

I won't spoil it for you, but the ending is quite telegraphic. This is not a problem in itself--plenty of fine movies telegraph their reveals and still kick you in the nuts--but right to the end the film is so toothless. I was steeling myself, and then suddenly the lights are coming on and you're thinking "eh, what? That's it?" The film does its best to promise menace, but everything is so bloody Merchant-Ivory sanitised and carefully couched in metaphor that you feel the Holocaust was a post-rugby dustup.

2.5/5

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - 13/9/2008 8:46:32 AM   
robsadler

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 13/9/2008
i feel lightfoot's review is a little harsh and comes purely from an adults perspective - in which case they are about spot on in my opinion. BUT IT IS RATED A 12A!!!! what did you expect?
i do believe this film was made with children as well as adults in mind - an impossible task considering the subject matter (it must surely be impossible for any film maker to convey the horror of the holocaust whatever the target audience?).
hopefully this film will have been an introduction to the subject matter for a lot of children who can then find out more about the holocaust as they get older.
i have to say i quite enjoyed this film although the english accents are annoying! again, it was made for children too so this can also be forgiven.
the ending was quite shocking, the mothers performance in particular was very harrowing as were some of the final shots.
in summary it is impossible to rate this film without splitting it into an adult and childrens review.
this is an EXCELLENT childrens film, it opens up a subject matter for children, will make them think and want to know more about the topic.....surely a good thing? the ending for a childrens film is incredible and much darker than i was expecting. when you think of a childrens film, the endings are all tied up perfectly and everyone lives happily ever after. this ending will surely keep them thinking for a long time afterwards - it is emotional. when you think of some of the rubbish kids films about you can only admire this film. 5/5
as an adults film, it is watered down, a bit predictable, very glossy (the jewish boy looked quite chubby and apart from his teeth, looked very healthy!) and (although im no expert on the holocaust) seemed a little unbelievable - surely no jews would be allowed into their house? etc. 2/5
as it is a kids film though - its incredibly risky and i give it 5/5.
robx


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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - 13/9/2008 8:46:49 AM   
robsadler

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 13/9/2008
i feel lightfoot's review is a little harsh and comes purely from an adults perspective - in which case they are about spot on in my opinion. BUT IT IS RATED A 12A!!!! what did you expect?
i do believe this film was made with children as well as adults in mind - an impossible task considering the subject matter (it must surely be impossible for any film maker to convey the horror of the holocaust whatever the target audience?).
hopefully this film will have been an introduction to the subject matter for a lot of children who can then find out more about the holocaust as they get older.
i have to say i quite enjoyed this film although the english accents are annoying! again, it was made for children too so this can also be forgiven.
the ending was quite shocking, the mothers performance in particular was very harrowing as were some of the final shots.
in summary it is impossible to rate this film without splitting it into an adult and childrens review.
this is an EXCELLENT childrens film, it opens up a subject matter for children, will make them think and want to know more about the topic.....surely a good thing? the ending for a childrens film is incredible and much darker than i was expecting. when you think of a childrens film, the endings are all tied up perfectly and everyone lives happily ever after. this ending will surely keep them thinking for a long time afterwards - it is emotional. when you think of some of the rubbish kids films about you can only admire this film. 5/5
as an adults film, it is watered down, a bit predictable, very glossy (the jewish boy looked quite chubby and apart from his teeth, looked very healthy!) and (although im no expert on the holocaust) seemed a little unbelievable - surely no jews would be allowed into their house? etc. 2/5
as it is a kids film though - its incredibly risky and i give it 5/5.
robx


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Post #: 5
Striped Pyjamas - 16/9/2008 8:26:51 PM   
moviemaniac2


Posts: 525
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Okay, so the movie is seen through a child's innocent eyes and you expect some 'Introduction to Nazism' dialogue, but that doesn't excuse the scenes Bruno isn't in: Ralf's mother doesn't keep her displeasure of her son's vocation a secret but is told "airing your views in public could land you in trouble." We all know this aspect of Nazi Germany, but the film goes about as if this was the first time Nazism and concentration camps were captured on celluloid and as a result brings nothing new to the table. His dialogue is very stiff and obvious. He isn't helped by the phoned-in performances, with Scanlon displaying the only subtlety on show. This must be just for kids, as most of us are familiar with Nazism and concentration camps . Average


< Message edited by moviemaniac2 -- 17/9/2008 9:09:08 AM >

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- 17/9/2008 10:31:51 AM   
Spookygeek101

 

Posts: 18
Joined: 26/10/2007
I watched this yesterday and though it was a very good movie. It does smack of a telemovie at times, but it still adeptly tells the story, without resorting to a load of cliches which the Nazis bring with them. David Thewliss is very good in it.

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RE: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - 2/10/2008 1:59:23 PM   
Braveheartben

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 23/9/2008
 Films about the Holocaust are not only tough to watch but tough to sell to an audience. Although some great movies have been made, most notable Schindler List. While that was a document of the horrors of went on, this film deals with it through the eyes of an eight year old, done in very subtle melodrama. The film implied horrors have the fear of dread seeping through every frame from start to finish. Where Bruno (Are eight year old) feels trap in his home with it’s own locks and rules washed in sun light all but not realise the horrors going on over the barbed wire as the storm gathers, heighten the tension for a final twist that will leave you shaking. A must see film of innocence lost through a young boy‘s eyes that will chill you to the bone, not for the faint hearted. Powerfully affecting film with terrific performances. 

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RE: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - 3/10/2008 12:14:24 PM   
dr. salvador


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From: City 17
Is it worth seeing?

My mate went to see it last night and said that it was really good

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RE: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - 3/10/2008 12:44:48 PM   
Mr Dead


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From: an express elevator to hell....going down!
Yeah definitly worthwhile a look see. its somewhat stilted and slow in places but the innocence of the lead and is slow realisation of who and what the boy in the striped pyjamas is well handled.
the ending will leave you emotionally drained... I saw it last night and nobody in the cinema moved or said anything till the credits had finisheds.

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An emotional wreck - 3/10/2008 7:03:12 PM   
Angusto

 

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Anyone else man sob?

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Post #: 11
RE: An emotional wreck - 11/10/2008 11:06:11 PM   
Starscream


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Very powerful and moving little film. It's the only film that I've seen in the cinema that when the credits rolled, nobody moved.

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RE: An emotional wreck - 11/10/2008 11:08:29 PM   
smila darcy

 

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An account of the Holocaust as seen through the naive and innocent eyes of eight year old Bruno, the son of the commander of a concentration camp.

I haven't seen a more eloquently narrated film recently, the adults will of course fully understand what is going on yet it is appropriate for older children as well. I thought it was a good starting point to educate them on the subject.

Unless you've read the book nothing, and I do mean nothing, will prepare you for the ending.

An absolute must see.


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RE: An emotional wreck - 14/10/2008 2:04:27 PM   
Cruisecontroller


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SPOILERS!

Overall I was very impressed with this film and throughly recommend it although it isn`t perfect. It`s set amongst Germans (apart from the Polish boy in the camp) but noone speaks with a German accent! In fact apart from the actor who plays Bruno`s father who at least attempts a German accent even if he doesn`t succeed everyone not only speaks in English but has English accents like they`ve come from an Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie story. I can overlook the fact that they speak English to make the film more accessable to its large English speaking market and being a partly British production but the accents were off putting. Also you can`t help wondering (well I did) how Bruno was able to spend so much time talking to the boy in the camp without either one being caught. If it weren`t for these flaws I`d give the movie five stars.

Those quibbles aside I do feel I have to support the film against the accusation levied at it by some that it Disneyfies the suffering of the Jews. How anyone who has seen the film to its profoundly moving unforgettable climax can say that is beyond me. I can only assume those that say that haven`t watched it properly to the end. Most of the movie is seen from a eight year old son of a German Commanders childs perspective right through to the end where all is revealed to Bruno about what the camp is really like he wrongly first thought was a farm. The last ten minutes are just as powerful as the concentration camp scenes in Schendilers List and will haunt you well after the movie ends. It is a little slow in places for the first half but is still very interesting to see the war from a naive at the time German viewpoint which includes most of those who weren`t Nazi`s. If you weren`t a Jew or a Nazi at the time living in Germany you wouldn`t have known the truth of the camps. Ignore the critics this is a classic film and I`m sure it will reap awards once the season gets underway in January don`t miss it. 4/5. 

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RE: An emotional wreck - 2/3/2009 9:51:29 AM   
MOTH

 

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An earnest, if slightly implausible, tale benefitting from two very natural performances from the young leads. Ultimately, it's too lightweight to be truly affecting, but it does deserve credit for the ending which, given the subject matter, is both fitting and commendably restrained (6/10)

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RE: An emotional wreck - 2/3/2009 10:22:14 AM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
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From: Manchesterford
I started a thread on this on the DVD discussion boards (it's out to buy on 10th March - currently a Blockbuster rental exclusive), I found it a really poor film with such implausibilities that it ruined any message that ending was trying to achieve. My mate loved the book, hence why I gave the film a try but I wouldn't recommend it tbh.

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- 14/4/2009 6:22:53 PM   
PureAinmhi


Posts: 94
Joined: 16/11/2008
From: Ireland
I thought this was a fantastic film. I think they could've made it slightly longer and maybe could have shown the two main child actors forming more of a relationship.

Well worth a watch and extremely sad.

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Post #: 17
The Boy In Striped Pyjamas - 17/4/2009 7:01:28 PM   
mackaylh

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 16/4/2009
A fairly controversial view of the Holocaust, and although it was fairly engaging it was very poorly produced. Research as to the times and the society were not taken into account, which made it a poor adaptation of John Boynes novel. However, the twist at the end was very well done which, if you hadn't already read the book, you would never have seen coming. All in all, it was really a very average film

< Message edited by mackaylh -- 17/4/2009 7:03:31 PM >

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An Alright Movie. - 22/4/2009 8:28:24 PM   
ReeceTumbridge

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 22/4/2009
I found the storyline interesting and a lot different from the real world. This movie sort of twists the Holocaust and turns it into a game (in Bruno's point of view). I found that part most interesting about the story is that the whole thing is from Bruno's point of view. A nine year old who has no idea what's going on. Preferably I enjoyed the book more with the cliffhangers and the way its written.

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The Boy Who Was In Tears By The End Of This Movie! - 4/6/2009 12:33:08 PM   
kermodenutter1

 

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A Truly Amazing Piece Of Work. With Great Central Performances By David Thewlis And Asa Butterfielc, This Truly Encaptures The Holocaust Through A Childs Mind. And The Final Camera Shot Blew Me Away. Nearly As Good As Escape From Sobibor.

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Some books should remain so - 14/10/2009 1:46:25 PM   
Seamus. Pat.

 

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As usual the book is much better. Apart from Bruno, his sister and Pavel the film was poorly cast. In the book Bruno's father ruled the household and would not tolerate any deviance from his demands, his wife included. This was necessary so that at the end of the story the horror of what had happened was displayed by his breakdown. The film didn't really do this well. The book was very cleverly written. It did, as was intended by Boyne, to highlight the ignorance and naivity of Bruno of what was happening, (out with - the fury etc.) Whilst Shmuel obviously was suffering inside the fence, he was also very ignorant as to what was happening. The film did not do this part of the book justice and it was a necessary that it should have done so. This is a very heart wrenching story and the book should be read and the movie given a miss as it does the book no justice whatsoever. Read the book and forget the film.

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Post #: 21
Thought Provoking and Powerful - 30/8/2011 11:00:25 PM   
trainedasninja


Posts: 206
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From: Kidderminster
What makes this film so interesting is that its concept is so unusual. Told through a child's viewpoint this is heart renderingly tragic and its ending is brutal and arresting. Much like schinder's list it is compelling as it draws ever closer to the impending doom. Sure the child actors have a slight stiffness to there acting but they do a fine job with such tough a subject. You would hardly think much of it. Some may disliked the story for feeling manufactured for the purpose of achieving a fable like quality but as a story it excels in displaying the tragic and undeniable truth.

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Post #: 22
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Review - 3/4/2012 11:16:14 AM   
the film man

 

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A touching and haunting family film that deals with the Holocaust in an arresting and unusual manner, and packs a brutal final punch of a twist.

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Post #: 23
Touching, But Curiously Less So Than It Should Be - 28/10/2012 1:21:52 PM   
magiclips

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 12/11/2009
Touching, yes. Moving, perhaps. Gut wrenching, not really. This is a curious fact, given the subject matter and an ending which should have everyone leaving the theatre or ejecting the DVD in an ocean of tears - but which for some reason doesn't quite achieve that.

Perhaps it is the fact that the movie tells the Holocaust story through the eyes of a naive German boy rather than those of his tragic Jewish counterpart on the other side of the fence, but one cannot escape noting that the Auschwitz of the film is a very tame version of the stupefyingly ghastly real thing. After all, if an 8 year old equipped with only a spade can break into the place could it have been so hard for thousands of adults to break out?

Oh, there are some nice touches, not least when Bruno's older sister Gretel (who has absorbed Nazi anti-Jewish sentiment all too whole-heartedly) prays before bedtime and asks God to protect innocent people. The fact that the staggering hypocrisy of this is completely lost on her is telling indeed, especially as she lives on the death camp's doorstep

Other memorable moments include the propaganda film scene, and the scene where Bruno falls off his makeshift swing and has his wound treated by a Jewish camp inmate who was once a doctor but who is now reduced to peeling potatoes in the camp commander's kitchen.

Yet all of this only adds up to a movie which, while thought-provoking and anguishing at time, is about a half of what it could have been. That said, it does contain one of the most chilling lines ever captured on celluloid, especially as the man who utters it is making a joke. "They smell even worse when they burn" provides arguably the solitary moment when this film fully achieves the nauseating pinnacle of the story it portrays - perhaps even more so than its ending. .

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Post #: 24
RE: An emotional wreck - 14/2/2013 4:50:22 AM   
JohnChard

 

Posts: 178
Joined: 22/10/2009
From: Birmingham
quote:

ORIGINAL: Cruisecontroller

SPOILERS!

Overall I was very impressed with this film and throughly recommend it although it isn`t perfect. It`s set amongst Germans (apart from the Polish boy in the camp) but noone speaks with a German accent! In fact apart from the actor who plays Bruno`s father who at least attempts a German accent even if he doesn`t succeed everyone not only speaks in English but has English accents like they`ve come from an Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie story. I can overlook the fact that they speak English to make the film more accessable to its large English speaking market and being a partly British production but the accents were off putting. Also you can`t help wondering (well I did) how Bruno was able to spend so much time talking to the boy in the camp without either one being caught. If it weren`t for these flaws I`d give the movie five stars.

Those quibbles aside I do feel I have to support the film against the accusation levied at it by some that it Disneyfies the suffering of the Jews. How anyone who has seen the film to its profoundly moving unforgettable climax can say that is beyond me. I can only assume those that say that haven`t watched it properly to the end. Most of the movie is seen from a eight year old son of a German Commanders childs perspective right through to the end where all is revealed to Bruno about what the camp is really like he wrongly first thought was a farm. The last ten minutes are just as powerful as the concentration camp scenes in Schendilers List and will haunt you well after the movie ends. It is a little slow in places for the first half but is still very interesting to see the war from a naive at the time German viewpoint which includes most of those who weren`t Nazi`s. If you weren`t a Jew or a Nazi at the time living in Germany you wouldn`t have known the truth of the camps. Ignore the critics this is a classic film and I`m sure it will reap awards once the season gets underway in January don`t miss it. 4/5. 


The Disneyfies accusations are baffling really. The horrors are there, but they are subtle, we don't need to see the horrors up close and personal. A hushed conversation with a servant, smoke from furnace chimneys or a boot hitting flesh behind a door, we know and understand. Disnefies my ass!

Great post BTW

< Message edited by JohnChard -- 14/2/2013 4:57:06 AM >


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RE: - 14/2/2013 4:52:31 AM   
JohnChard

 

Posts: 178
Joined: 22/10/2009
From: Birmingham

quote:

ORIGINAL: PureAinmhi

I thought this was a fantastic film. I think they could've made it slightly longer and maybe could have shown the two main child actors forming more of a relationship.

Well worth a watch and extremely sad.


Yes, amazingly in a era of film where going well over two hours is becoming the norm, this was one film that could have done with another half hour at least.


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