The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – Review

The boy in the striped pyjamas

I saw the movie months ago (not yet the Book) on a local TV station. And like what it is said in most of the movie’s reviews I read it was moving. The story takes place during the World War II in Germany. Bruno, a 8-year-old boy, son of a nazi officier is obliged to leave Berlin and all his friends to go to a supposed-to-be farm in the country side. His father was given a higher mission, he was going to be the first responsable of a Jewish camp. Bruno is a curious little boy who likes discoveries and adventures and it’s during one of these that he met Shmuel, the boy in the striped pyjamas.

The movie is moving as it takes you along the naive eye’s of Bruno. His excitment in helping his new friend that he didn’t know much about or that was completely different from what he’s been told (tought) about. The story shows the brainwash done to children from their early age. It reminds me of a documentary film on the middle-east conflict where a 6-year-old girl said she hated Israeli people but don’t know why. They are tought to hate a certain groups of people or adopt a way of thinking without having other options. This issue of the way you bring up your children often rises when I talk to friends. The choice between imposing or giving other options hopping that they will take the one you think is good (for them). But at a early age, do we know much about what is good or bad for us in long term?

Some critics said that a 8-year-old boy at the time – during World War II – should have known the context he was living in and considere the movie as a bit of fairytale. A fairytale with a tragic end. Many are the scenes that are moving, one that I like the most is when Shmuel was caught up eating food while cleaning up glasses. And then he said Bruno gave him the food. An officier confronted the two boys but Bruno didn’t say the truth. After all that he’s done for his friend, his courage failed him the moment he needed it the most (till this part in the movie). He was scared and powerless. But he caught up when both kids decided to look for Shmuel’s father that disappeared in the camp. A deed that led to their death. The end fits a Malagasy saying that goes like “Ny tody tsy misy fa ny atao no miverina”. That is a kind of Karma thing, all you’ve done will echo back to you sooner or later.

“The Boy with a Striped Pyjamas” is designed for kids but I think audience of all ages will appreciate it. I personaly love the movie and recommend it to those who like emotinal films. What I’d like now is to read the book 🙂