Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Asa Butterfield's brilliant performance in Hugo was full of innocence and curiosity. But before Hugo, he had done another great film that probably only a few people know about. As the the synopsis reads, Asa plays the role of Bruno a son of some German officer. He befriends a Jewish boy in a concentration camp and thus begins an unforgettable film experience that almost moved me to tears. We see the entire Nazi world through the innocent eyes of Bruno. Even in the film, we are never revealed the true names of his parents as he used to call them "Mother" and "Father". Now that's film-making! The brutal things like killing Jews or incinerating them is shown in a subtle way. Bruno sees these things from over a distance but not close enough to understand it. He was always engrossed in reading fictional books on adventures. But he never, because of his young age, tried to understand completely the world he lived in. I was so moved by the innocence of the boy that I found myself in tears by the end of the film. It's so beautiful.
But then why rate it 4 instead of 5? Firstly, I was very disappointed by the use of heavy British accent in the film. Each and every character spoke English accent and that sort of took out the "warm" feeling out of the film. But Asa Butterfield's performance sort of balanced out all the wrongs. Secondly, I still believe this film could have been much more better. I don't know how to explain that but when you tend to make one mistake like the accent one I mentioned, you end up making a terrible mess.
This is the only complaint I have from this film. Overall, the film is great and I think you should watch only for Asa Butterfield's performance. David Thewlis plays the role of the father and Vera Farmiga plays the role of the mother. They were nice too. (If only you separate out the accent problem.) Thewlis' performance of a brutal German Officer was convincing and so was Farmiga's performance as the caring mother.
Recommended. Moving. But unfortunately not a classic. :(
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