The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas: Novel to Film!

by nirjhar

After long days I have seen such a good film! It is simply melting my heart and bringing tears. A fabulous masterwork by the director Mark Herman. In November 2008 this film was released in USA.image

The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas is originally a novel by Irish novelist John Boyne which was published in 2006. Here is the plot summery from Wikipedia:

This book is about a simple eight-year-old boy named Bruno who liked nothing more than going to school or playing around with his friends. But because of his father’s job, is forced to move from his home in Berlin to Poland, near a concentration camp. From his bedroom window, Bruno spots a fence behind which he sees men in ‘striped pyjamas’. These are Jews, and they are in a Nazi concentration camp. One day his parents come to an agreement that both Bruno and Gretel, his sister, need a tutor for their education, so they hire Herr Liszt. To Bruno, Herr Liszt is the most boring teacher anyone could ever have; he teaches social studies instead of reading and arts, which Bruno prefers. So, in boredom and confusion, Bruno wonders what is going on at "Out-With" and why people are always dressed in striped pyjamas there. One afternoon, he goes exploring, and meets a Jewish boy called Shmuel, a name Bruno has never before heard but that apparently is quite common in the concentration camp. Shmuel soon becomes Bruno’s friend and Bruno visits every afternoon to talk. Bruno is told by Gretel that the people in the striped pajamas on the other side of the fence are Jews and that he and his family are "the opposite".Theboyinthestripedpyjamas

The story ends with Bruno about to return to the family’s old home in Berlin. As a final adventure, he agrees to dress in a set of striped pyjamas and digs under the fence to help Shmuel find his father, who went missing in the camp. The boys are unable to find him, and just as it starts to rain and get dark, Bruno decides he would like to go home, yet the Nazis in the area of the camp force the boys to go on a march. Neither boy knows where this march will lead. However, they are soon crowded into a gas chamber, and the author leaves the story with Bruno pondering, yet unafraid, in the dark holding hands with Shmuel. "…Despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel’s hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go".

In an epilogue, Bruno’s family spend several hours at their home trying to find Bruno, before his mother and Gretel return to Berlin, only to discover he is not there as they had expected. A year afterwards, his father returns to the spot that the soldiers found Bruno’s clothes (the same spot Bruno spent the last year of his life) and, after a brief inspection, discovers that the fence is not properly attached at the base and can form a gap big enough for a boy of Bruno’s size to fit through. Using this information, his father eventually pieces together what happened to Bruno. Several months later, the Red Army arrives to liberate the camp and orders Bruno’s father to go with them. He goes without complaint, because "he didn’t really care what they did to him anymore".

Mark Herman simply makes this novel into a fantastic screenplay. But what I like most is the Cinematography and Lighting. I can’t forget the last shot where lots of Stripped Pajama was hanging in front of the gas chamber. That was a masterpiece of photography. Also the heartiest salute goes to James Horner for great music.


I am recommending to all you folks to watch this film.

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1 comment

hasin May 1, 2009 - 9:21 pm

i have seen this last week, and i must say it is a film to be rated as 10 out of 10. so touchy!

and the camera work is superb.


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