Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thief Of Young Hearts (Movie Review: The Book Thief)

As I got older, I became more and more interested in history. You would think that there are already enough stories written about the Second World War, but still one pops up that touches hearts again. I have not read Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief," but I know it was a huge hit in the young adult market. That gives me great hope for young readers, actually. Imagine a historical novel catching their fancy? Directed by Brian Percival, the movie version is shot like a painting - the images of 1939 are beautiful, romantic even. But we all know that this is a sad story, and honestly, quite depressing. Sophie Nelisse plays Liesl, a young girl adopted by a German couple, played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson (both fantastic, by the way)  Liesl is an innocent young girl, but even though she doesn't know how to read, she has inquisitiveness, and intelligence. I know we are supposed to like her, but she is played by Nelisse almost antagonistically, and I found myself thinking she is causing all these problems not just for herself but also for her family. This is a powerful story, and I found myself wincing. It's funny that after all these years, these stories still resonate and affect me.  The first third of the movie drags (it could use some editing, for sure) but things start to pick up after that and you will be riveted. And the end is devastating. If you are already down, steer away. But if you brave yourself f or it, this movie will make you think, and be thankful for life. It's Thanksgiving, this movie could make yours a more reflective one.

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