BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003544Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
DVD disk
Mar 27, 2009 By: Sturdy
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas order
Director:
Mark Herman

Actors:
Vera Farmiga
David Thewlis
Rupert Friend

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young boy moves with his Nazi father to the German countryside where he befriends a young Jewish boy being held in a concentration camp. Conflicted with what he feels to be right and what heís being told is right, he must choose a path for himself.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a tear jerker. Itís the basis for the film and every scene and every moment leads you to the heart-wrenching finale. There are stories that are wound very tight and efficiently that just happen to be sad and then there are films that are just plain sad. This is the latter.

The sadness of the film is something that is discussed in every featurette and every interview youíll see with the filmmakers, but Iím going to avoid divulging any spoilers. However, the sad tone of the film is what drives the story and as it turns out, is what prevents the film from ever taking off. While I was watching this, I felt that the filmmakers sacrificed story development to get to the next sad scene and ultimately, that stopped me from ever getting emotionally involved enough with the characters to truly care about their fates.

We also have the issue of this being another in a long line of recent holocaust movies. The horror of the holocaust is starting to become numb on mainstream America because weíve seen it so many times in so many movies. So when the sadness of the holocaust is a big part of your film, you have to accept that youíre not going to grab the audience. A holocaust movie has to have characters you care about and they have to have some sort of resolution or achievement at the end in order to legitimize the struggles youíve put them through. It doesnít necessarily have to be a happy ending (it almost shouldnít be), but it has to be resolved.

I usually donít mind if foreigners speak English in a movie, but in this case, I found the British accents to be a bit distracting. Much like the mixed accents in VALKYRIE, the British accents in this took away from the story and created a weird visual to audio reference. Mainly, weíre watching German soldiers that look and sound British. The little boy in the film did a fine job, as did Vera Farmiga, but everyone else just went through the motions. Overall, it made for an average film that relied too heavily on the fact it was depressing.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Mark Herman and John Boyne: There are some pauses throughout this that will frustrate you. These two arenít the most interesting of speakers and their comments are quick, concise and almost always stick to whatís going on onscreen. Unless youíre a die-hard fan of the film, I wouldnít bother with this.

Deleted Scenes (6:19): These werenít that bad, actually. All of them focused on the boy and his German life and friends. They furthered the overall message of the film, but they were short enough that their deletion didnít affect the overall story.

Friendship Beyond the Fence (20:29): This is a typical making of featurette with interviews and comments from the cast and crew. I prefer to see making of featurettes focus on the making of the film and not opinions of the filmmakers, but this one does itís job of telling you about the film.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is a depressing film, but more than that, itís not a great film. It has a decent idea at the heart of it, but overall the movie falls flat and becomes a victim of its own creation. There are good holocaust movies out there, but this isnít one of the better ones.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!