THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS
During World War One, a Christmas Day tradition ensued where opposing soldiers would cease hostilities. Using the time for general socialisation and soccer games, this brief moment would unite common enemies. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas mirrors this event with an innocent relationship between German and Jewish boys. Witnessing their growing friendship through a barbwire fence, the needless notion of war and its many victims is once again highlighted. Eight year old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is the son of decorated Nazi officer Ralf (David Thewlis). When his father is tasked with overseeing a concentration camp the family, including wife Elsa (Vera Farmiga) and twelve year old daughter Gretel (Amber Beattie), follow. Settling into their new house nearby, Bruno becomes bored and restless. On his aimless travels, he stumbles upon the camp's outskirts and young Jewish boy Shmuel (Jack Scanlon). Happy with someone to talk with, the boys form a close bond that regimented uniforms and ragged garments can never unravel. Extremely uncomfortable viewing for most of its length, this amazing film is made more powerful by its simplicity. By looking at the Holocaust through children's eyes, the endless politicking bogging down other similarly themed stories is pared down. Like any inquisitive young boy, Bruno wonders why time is spent hating others where forming lasting friendships seems more rewarding. Wonderfully played by Butterfield and Scanlon, you feel genuine sadness in how circumstances could have been very different for both, as well as the dreadful knowledge of what may transpire. What's really fascinating is the impact of age upon the officer's children. Already indoctrinated against other races, Bruno's elder sister's thought processes have taken on a more adult leaning. Young and more questioning of those around him, Bruno has the foresight to see the wrongs perpetrated but cannot fully understand their meanings. All is articulated very well in a tightly written script grasping the viewer from its sunny beginnings to its genuinely shocking denouncement. The small cast give excellent renditions of mostly sympathetic characters that unknowingly become trapped by their own actions. It's very rare that you sit in a cinema where the audience stays until the final credits. Such was the force of this well made film. It was good to think that in a multiplex full of mindless fare there was at least one humane film daring enough in making its viewers think. Movie Review Rating 8 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore For The Boy In The Striped Pajamas home website click here The Boy in the Striped Pajamas released in Australia on Thursday 23rd April 2009.(seen at a preview) If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.