Friday, October 14, 2011

Fantastic Films: The Pianist

I wrote my list of my favorite and least favorite films of the decade at the end of 2009. The interesting thing is that during the 2010's, I watched some films from the 2000's that made me consider recreating my list of the best films from that decade. Just last week, I watched the Roman Polanski film from 2002 called The Pianist. It received rave reviews and plenty of awards at the Academy Awards. I felt that these awards were well deserved. This feel brought out a reaction on my part, which is why I think this film is fantastic.

Wladyslaw Szpilman was a Jewish pianist from Poland, the movie is about him and his struggles during the Holocaust. He's the likable center of the film and played excellently by Adrien Brody. He lives with his family when things are beginning to take their turn now that Germany has invaded Poland. The Jews living in Poland have been forced to evacuate from their homes and into the ghettos of the area, blocked off from the rest of society. Things only begin to grow worse when the Jews are forced into concentration camps, where many of them would eventually be killed. The Nazis were ruthless and knocked the Jews off like they were targets in a video game for any form of misconduct, even for answering back. However, this was accurately portrayed.

During the process in which the Jews were forced to leave the ghettos and head on the train to the concentration camps, Szpilman is assisted by the Jewish Ghetto Police and becomes a laborer. He eventually escapes from place to place in the hope of simply surviving, as any Jewish person felt if they were in the position of not being caught. The turning point occurs when Szpilman meets Wilm Hosenfeld, who is a Nazi, but has turned against his party as he disagreed with their stance on specific views. While some of the events may not seem to connect, I did some research and found that The Pianist was really accurate when it came to historic events.

I enjoy hidden gems in the cinema world. I don't know if The Pianist could be considered hidden, but I most definitely know that it is a gem. It definitely wasn't hidden when it took many of the Academy Awards, including  best director (for Roman Polanski) and best actor (for Adrien Brody). Portraying what really happened could also be considered a task, but the ability to do it on key is an accomplishment in itself. The Holocaust was a brutal time period, especially for Jewish people and other groups of people not approved by the Nazis. The way that this brutal time period is portrayed evokes emotion for a viewer like myself who's looking for a reaction. World War II was a hard time for everybody who had something to do with the war, and many of people did. However, nobody had it harder than the Jews in the Eastern European area, especially in Germany or Poland. The Pianist evokes those feelings of pain and hatred and then some. Many of these people only had one way to escape the pain, and that was through death.

Szpilman's character may have put himself in harm's way on several occasions and some of which left you in question, but if that's the way it happened, then that's the way it happened. It's as simple as that! I strongly recommend The Pianist, because it really leaves you thinking after it's over. That's what a piece of entertainment, no matter what form it's in, should do. In this case, it leaves you in a state of thought and leaves you to wonder about this cruel time and place. The Pianist did its job and did it well.

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