Movie Review – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

Director: Mark Herman

Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga, Amber Beattie, Cara Horgan, Rupert Friend

World War II as seen through the eyes of a small boy. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is set in Germany. A soldier is given a new assignment and has to move his family to the country. While there, Bruno (Butterfield) is bored and tries to explore, but he starts to realize there’s something strange going on, although his young mind can’t quite comprehend it.

Wow. Just wow.

Trying to make sense of war is a hopeless endeavor and seeing it through the eyes of a child makes you realize how stupid it all is. Butterfield is great, and the story does a good job of putting you in his shoes. Whether it’s jumping as a German officer barks at a Jew, or the realization that Bruno’s older sister is being swept up in the propaganda, disgust as the things the tutor is teaching Bruno, anguish when Bruno’s mother becomes aware of the treatment of the prisoners, and the father’s treatment of his own soldier.

But really, it was the ending that floored me. Amazing movie all around. So emotional, so involving. Brilliant.


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