Wednesday, 26 February 2014

MPOV: The Book Thief

In April 1938, a voice representing the Angel of Death, tells about how the young Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) has piqued his interest. Liesel is traveling on a train with mother and younger brother when her brother dies. At his burial she picks up a book that has been dropped by his graveside. Liesel is then delivered to foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) Hubermann, because her mother, a Communist, is in danger. When she arrives, Liesel makes an impression on a neighbor boy, Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch).
Rudy accompanies her on her first day of school. When the teacher asks Liesel to write her name on the chalkboard, she is only able to write three 'X's, showing that she doesn't know how to read. Later that day, she is taunted by her schoolmates who chant "dummkopf". One of the boys, Franz Deutscher, challenges her to read just one word to which Liesel responds by beating him up. She impresses Rudy and they become fast friends. When Hans, her stepfather, realizes that Liesel cannot read, he begins to teach her, using the book that she took from the graveside. Liesel becomes obsessed with reading anything she can get her hands on.
World War II breaks out and Liesel and Rudy become members of the Hitler Youth movement. While at a Nazi book burning ceremony, Liesel and Rudy are bullied into throwing books onto the bonfire by Franz, but Liesel is upset at all the books being burned. When the bonfire ends and everyone but she has left, she grabs a book that has not been burned. She is seen by Ilsa Hermann, the mayor's wife. Hans discovers that she has taken the book and tells her she must keep it a secret from everyone. One day, Rosa, her stepmother, asks Liesel to take the laundry to the mayor's house. Liesel realizes that the woman who saw her taking the book is the mayor's wife and she is scared she will be found out. Instead, Ilsa takes her into their library and tells Liesel she can come by anytime and read as much as she'd like. One day Liesel is found reading by the mayor who not only puts a stop to her visits but dismisses Rosa as their laundress. Liesel continues to "borrow" books from the mayor's library by climbing through a window.
The above taken from Wikipedia.
I was intrigued by the trailer and totally mesmerized by the movie. A beautiful adaptation, well portrayed and heart-warmingly touché. It's so well told that, to some may be a little boring, I felt I was brought along the journey with Liesel... I felt her sadness, her innocence and her happiness. Bravo to Sophie, a really talented young actress who's portrayal of Liesel is so real! I have not read the book so I do not know what I'm missing out in the movie. Anyhow, the movie was produced smoothly that it felt like it was well adapted, as good as the book itself.
Rating: 4/5
Directed by: Brian Percival
Based on the book by: Markus Zusak
Starring: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Nico Liersch
Genre: American German war drama film

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