Friday 22nd May

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Director: Mark Herman
Year: 2008
Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, Jack Scanlon, Cara Horgan

After having read the book of the same name, I was keen to see this film to compare the two. So I was thankful to get a chance to watch it at my parent-in-laws house over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Although not a 100% faithful adaptation of the book, it's faithful enough to tell the same story. Where things have been changed, you can understand why. Never does the film take away anything from the book, resulting in similar emotions as the story unfolds.

The plot centres around Bruno, an 8 year old boy growing up in WWII Germany. His father is a Nazi officer, and almost without warning Bruno and his family are whisked away to Auschwitz, where his father has responsibility for the concentration camp - not that Bruno knows this, or what a concentration camp is. Instead, Bruno's concern is making friends with the young boy he meets in striped pyjamas on the other side of the fence.

Unlike the novel, the film doesn't play to Bruno's innocence - instead, it lets the audience know what is happening. This is understandable, as to achieve what the (children's) book does and not make it feel as if it was talking down to the audience would have been incredibly hard. Regardless, both the film and the book are heart wrenching - whichever you see/ read first will have you desperately reaching for the tissues.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.