Tuesday 8 April 2014

Movie Talk: The Book Thief

A few days ago, I finally got a chance to see The Book Thief after its cinema release in the UK. I was eager, and nervous, to see how such a unique story would play out as a film.

I’m a huge fan of the book. When I first read it a few years back, it was unlike anything I’d read before. It was intriguing and beautiful and heart-breaking, and I loved it. But after the recent stream of movie adaptions that haven’t lived up to my expectations, I was trying not to get my hopes up over The Book Thief.

However, I was left completely surprised by how wonderfully it was adapted for the big screen. The director did an absolutely fantastic job of fitting as much content from the book as possible into the two hours and ten minutes screen time. In fact, I’d probably say it’s one of the most faithful adaptations I’ve seen in a while.

Yes, there were scenes that were cut from the film, as is the case with every book-to-movie adaption. I’d say there was one important scene that I was disappointed about being left out, and that was Max writing stories for Liesel. For me, that was one of the more important aspects in the book, and I think it should have been in the film. The other scene I was disappointed to see cut was the one in which the enemy plane comes down on Molching, and Rudy comforts the Pilot in his dying moments. I found that to be very touching in the book and would have liked to see it in the film.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the positives.

For one thing, the cast were absolutely perfect, in my opinion. I think that every cast member portrayed their character brilliantly, and I wasn’t left disappointed with their performance. I don’t have one bad thing to say about any of the cast members, there were no let downs in that area. The girl playing Liesel gave a beautiful performance, as did the actor who played Max. I adore Max, in the book, and in the film. The boy who portrayed Rudy also needs a mention for how superb he was. It’s literally like the cast just stepped out of the pages of the book.

Aside from the scenes I mentioned earlier, I think everything else about the film was extremely well done, and as faithful to the book as possible. Especially the first half of the movie, it was incredibly accurate. The scenes were exactly how I pictured them, especially the settings.

Overall, I am really pleased with the film, and pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I’m usually left feeling disappointed after movie adaptions, but I was left happy with this one. I’m sure the author will be proud of how his story played out on the big screen.

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