Hello and welcome back to this weeks reflective post. This week I decided to do a review on a movie I recently watched called “The Book Thief” for both my own enjoyment, to extend on my research and the perspective of youth in WWII. Now, before I get into the review, I need to warn you that there are going to be spoilers, so if you clicked on this post expecting to not hear any, you’ve unfortunately come to the wrong place.
The movie first starts with a 12 year old girl named Liesel (Sophie Nélisse). Her on-the-run communist mother gives her up for adoption, since she can no longer care for her, shortly after her brother dies of tuberculosis. She’s taken into the home of Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson). Her and her new dad click right away and develop a close bond. But with her new mother on the other hand, not so much.
Aside from her new family, Liesel develops a cute friendship with a sweet blonde boy named Rudy (Nico Liersch). Regardless of the fact that she doesn’t know how to read or write, she has always had a love for books, and that love develops even more overtime after Hans teaches her how to read. Even after Hitler enforcing the destruction of all books, that didn’t stop her. She found her way by “borrowing” books from the Burgmeister’s mini library in his huge house.
In the course of the story, Liesel also becomes closer to Rosa. As they start to warm up to each other, you see Rosa grow and break through her tough shell you see at the beginning of the film.
During the holocaust, Jews would seek shelter with sympathetic people around the country, they would hide in cellars, floorboards, farm houses, or in this movies case, the basement. This part of the film started with a Jew named Max (Ben Shnetzer) arriving at Liesel’s family’s door. Max’s dad had saved Hans’ life back in WWI, so Hans had promised to do whatever it took to keep that man’s family safe, so they gave him shelter and food, despite the risk of them getting in very serious trouble.
The movie goes through several subplots and numerous events as well, but it would be too much to write in just one post, so I suggest watching the movie (or reading the book) because it’s very much enjoyable.
In the last 15 mins or so, the film puts you through a bit of a emotional spiral. First starting with the death of Rudy, Hans and Rosa, along with almost everyone in the small German village that was bombed. But, then in the end, Max comes back after the end of the war and visits Liesel, which made me feel a a little better.
This was especially hard, because while watching the movie, you pick up an emotional connection to the characters, which makes this movie just that powerful thanks to both the plot and the amazing actors. However, I did find the narrator, portrayed as “death” to be quite confusing at times and didn’t really add anything to the story, so was quite useless.
The film also helps give a better understanding, or visual representation of what really went down during WWII, and that it wasn’t easy, no matter what side you were on. Overall, The Book Thief is a very moving film, that shows examples of courage, love and friendship throughout.
Anyways, that’s all for now. Bye and see you in my next blog post!