Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Book Thief---Movie Review

The Book Thief---Movie Review

It took forever for us to find this movie because it was not released anywhere near us for about two months. But I've finally seen it! AND IT WAS SO GOOD!
Things I Loved:
-The casting was really great, especially Rudy, Hans, Liesel, and definitely MAX! The acting was emotional and overall brilliantly done. I felt like I was seeing the actual characters, the story came to life in them (which is the most important aspect of movie adaptations). The relationships between them felt like they did in the books. They evoked the same emotions from me that the book did. Possibly heightened emotion because I did know the characters from the book, but the people I was with who hadn't read it said they felt for the characters as well. I loved that they kept in the parts that made it a sort of meandering story. It still felt like a documentation of their lives rather than a plot-driven type of story, which I loved.

-They did leave out some of the more anecdotal stuff, their neighbor and her son and things of that sort. Rudy's story was also changed quite a bit. But I felt like those changes were necessary in the movie (plus it leaves some things for people now motivated to read the book to discover).

-The cinematography was gorgeous. The scenery, like Himmel Street and their city, were beautiful and quite a bit like how I imagined it. I think this story especially deserved to be a visually beautiful movie.

-I liked their focus on the twisted parts of Germany, using music and the children from school to show how messed up it all was. One scene that particularly struck me was the choir of children singing while the Jews' homes were being destroyed. It felt like what the book was trying to get across.

Things I Didn't Love:
-I know that there were reasons to leave them out, but I'm still a bit sad that they left out Max's drawings. That is a big part of who his character is, and while they used other moments to showcase that side of him, I think they could have done some gorgeous scenes with his drawings and his stories to Liesel.

-Death's voice was too cheery. It almost came off as comical and I think they could have done more with him and his deeper statements. But he didn't show up too much, so it was sort of okay.

Overall Rating: This was a fantastic book-to-movie adaptation. There were obviously some language related things that couldn't translate because the writing in The Book Thief is just that gorgeous. But I think they stayed true to the purpose and feel of the book. 4.5/5 stars.

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