The Book Thief : An uplifting story of how a girl finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.
So The Book Thief, I special reasoning to wanting to watch this film and as a word of warning any nit picks or constructive negativity I have to say about this is all valid because I've read the book. I have read the book. I like the story that the book entails, it's appealing intellect and it's wonderful characters alike.
So the film starts off with the introduction to our Narrator who is there of course, to narrate and guide us through the story initially. It is then we are introduced to Liesel Meminger who I'd like to comment is very well cast, she's played by Sophie Nélisse, who is an young child actress who up until this point was unknown to me. She is on a train with her mum and the film starts with the tragic death of Liesel's little brother. The idea was that Liesal and her brother were both going to be handed over to this couple who'd be their new adopted parents during the duration of the war.
By doing this, they would be able to go to school and get educated on the furher's rights and regulations and live adequite life styles. It is then Liesel is taken in by this couple, Emily Watson is Rosa Hubermann and Geoffrey Rush is Hans Hubermann. Later during a book burning, Liesel comes across one book which escaped the clutches of the fire, so she rather sneakly takes it without anyone noticing and she starts to read, the more she reads the more educationally curious she becomes. There is a saying about learning which sticks out in this instance and that is 'The more you know, the further you go'.
Then Max comes into it, Max is a Jewish refugee who is hiding from Nazi scouts who are hunting down Jews to take them to concentration camps. Hans takes him in because there is a bit of unknown back story to how he knows Max in earlier life, apparently Max is the son of someone Hans helped a long time ago. Hans promised that if he ever needed a favour from him, he'd give it to him. This favour now being refrenced and related back to Max. So Max's interaction into being in the story is explained pretty clearly. It's done in more perserverant detail in the book which would just take far too long to go into when doing the prospect of film, so I think it's good that you do just get the basics of how Max comes to be there, the extra detail would of been great but wouldn't of done the film any favours in terms of timing. There's only so much you can do in film.
So that's the basic outline of what the film is about, that's the story and plot explained. Here's a trailer.
Now this is where I start to get a little on the edge with this film. Going back to what I said about detail, because of a timing issue, there's only so much basic fact of the fiction of the book that can be included into the story in order for A) Allowing the story to make sense and B) Get the research it requires from the resource that is the book. There's not enough valuable resource from the book related to in this film. It is a shame, but most adapted films are like that.
Take the narrator for instance, Roger Allam hardly got the screen time to say much or do anything. When the character he plays (Which I won't mention for the purposes of spoilers) Is a pivital and vital character who's importance is only second to Liesel Meminger. He's hardly in it. It would of been interesting to see the dynamics of the Roger Allam character work better and guide us through the whole story, rather than just bits of it.
Also unexplained plauses and plot holes, I think I can best explain this with an example - Rudy. Sweet lovly Rudy, hate be a spoiler but he dies much earlier in the book. In the film he dies in a bomb attack which is tragic and the scene is really sad, but Rudy dies a lot sooner in the book, therefore structure wobbles a bit for me in terms of storytelling because Rudy's not dead.
That's just a few major examples to point out about this. I mean it kind of gets repetaive thinking when watching the film of a book adaptation. You want to watch it out of excitement and curiosity, but at the same time you don't want your book ruined either. Take Harry Potter as an example.
However having said this, Production wise I think the films very good because it allows the veiwer to experience a passionate story in a more visual expressive manour, played with emotional interest by members of a fantastic cast who get to be : happy, sad, joyful and funny and contempt and broken. Yeah, very good indeed. I felt emotionally engaged watching this, which means the films done its job very well.
It's an entertainment film. It's a contented drama about a young girl, books, nazi germany and war times, communicated in such as way by Brian Percival (Director) that touches the heart of the viewer and demonstartes the value of life at it's finest. 8/10.
NEXT : The Judge.