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The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas [DVD]
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Haunting World War 2 drama told from the perspective of Bruno (Asa Butterfield), the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp (David Thewlis). Bruno has just moved with his family into a new house in the middle of nowhere, and feels imprisoned by his mother (Vera Farmiga)'s persistent warnings never to venture beyond the garden's high walls. From what he can make of the view from his bedroom window, he thinks he must be living on a strange sort of farm where the workers seem to get straight out of bed and go to work on the fields. When his curiosity leads him through an open door and up to a vast electric fence, he meets a boy there of exactly his own age - but with a very different story to tell.
Based on the book by John Boyne, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas didn’t really get the box office recognition it deserves on its theatrical release, struggling to find a foothold amidst a stampede of blockbusters. But this is a film that, surely, is ripe for discovery on DVD.
Directed with care and diligence by Mark Herman, whose CV includes the excellent Brassed Off! and Little Voice, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is set during the Second World War, in and around a Nazi concentration camp. It tells its tale through the eyes of two young boys. One is the son of the camp’s commandant, while the other is wearing the striped pyjamas of the title.
The two boys meet and ultimately befriend one another, and The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas tells the difficult story of their companionship. It does it extremely well, too, careful to understate proceedings and demonstrate a restraint that serves the subject matter well. It’s also quite a lean film, and one boasting excellent performances, including David Thewlis as the aforementioned commandant.
If The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas has a problem or two, they pale in comparison to its strengths. For this is a tightly directed, moving film, that does real justice to the terrific book it’s derived from. It’s not always an easy watch, but it's very memorable.--Jon Foster--This text refers to the Blu-ray edition. See all Product description
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Immensely touching, and expectedly sad.
The film leaves you to reconsider the notion of ''the fathers' sins...'', whilst contemplating and questioning ideas of victimisation, revenge and punishment.
In essence, the film points out that it is humanity, rather than Jewish-Nazi dichotomy, that was victimised by the holocaust.
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