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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Discussion - From Book to Movie: 'The Book Thief'



Warning - Spoiler alert!




The other day I walked into my local supermarket and there I saw it, the DVD of the film adaptation of the The Book Thief. I was so excited I bought it there and then. Unfortunately I would have to wait until that evening to watch it as I had to work. So I rushed to one of my best friend’s house after I finished and we sat down and watched it. I had waited a long time to watch this film. I read the book years ago and fell completely in love with it, and it soon became one of my all time favourites. When I heard that it was being turned into a film I was equally ecstatic and nervous; what if they ruined it? (I’ll do a separate post about my views on film adaptations of books). Nevertheless I really wanted to see this movie. I wanted to see how they would pull it of. Despite this I had no-one to see at the cinema with so I had to wait for the DVD, and boy was it worth it!




First and foremost; the cast was perfect. Sophie NĂ©lisse was spot on as Liesel! I have never seen her in anything else and I was blown away by her acting abilities. I never expect very much from child actors, but I thought she was amazing, a truly delightful performance! Geoffrey Rush was, as always, brilliant. I always love watching him on screen, and his portrayal of Hans Hubermann was astounding and very enjoyable. These two performance stood out for, though of course I loved Emily Watson as Rosa and Ben Schnetzer as Max were also sublime. I really liked the effort that went into the acting, and the film in general. You could tell that everyone involved in the movie really cared about what they were making, it made it such a joy to watch and it makes us book readers weep with joy, (not that I cried…). Speaking of, the ending was as heartbreaking and tear-worthy as I imagined; the way Liesel looked around for her family after the bombing, and finding Rudy, and having him die in her arms, was truly soul crushing. It was just so well done and exquisitely acted by NĂ©lisse and Nico Liersch, who played Rudy. I rarely cry at movies, (with the exception of Bambi, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and The Fault in Our Stars), but I had tears in my eyes throughout the final scenes.





The only thing I would say against the movie is that it didn’t really go into too much detail about Liesel’s ‘book-thieving’, they had her steal the first book from the Nazi book burning and they only had her steal a book from the mayor once, rather than it being a repeat occurrence, (seriously, there wasn’t even a montage!). They didn’t really capture Liesel’s love of reading and her almost kleptomaniac ways, which did disappoint me a little, but the story has so much else going on, it wasn’t wholly unforgivable. They also didn’t have the scene where Liesel tears up a book up in frustration in the mayor’s library, which is a shame because I thought it was great way of showing how her situation was taking it’s toll on her, whereas in the film she seems to sit back and take what’s thrown at her. But anyway, I don’t want to nit-pick, it was a wonderful film, a great adaptation of the book, and I could talk about it all day, but I will just say that if you liked the book and/or are a history buff, definitely watch this!



Overall, the film handled the story really well, it kept the essence of the movie and the characters, and dealt with the issues from the book effortlessly and I loved it!


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