Friday, March 6, 2009

The Reader - A Review

The Reader, another Oscar- nominated movie starring a star-cast of Ralph Fiennes, Kate Winslet and David Kross. The Reader is a story with a simple storyline and a rather bland plot. But the stars' performance really make the movie special. The emotions displayed, the "action" of it, the dilemma, the torn-off love.

The Reader opened with lawyer Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) looking at his suitcase and several folders. He was potrayed as someone who doesn't open up to anyone. Then the movie flashback into his teens, when he was 15 years old. In post WWII era, young Michael Berg (David Kross) met an older woman, Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet) and had an affair with her over the summer. He lost his virginity and also his first love to Hanna. When the affair ended mysteriously, Michael's life was devastated. When he was a law student, he met Hanna again. This time in war crime court were Hanna was accused of killing Jews in concentration camps as guards. He was momentarily torn by love for Hanna and also justice. When Hanna was sentenced to life imprisonment, Michael started sending her tapes, remembering how much Hanna loved being read to. Hanna was iliterate for more than half of her life and taught herself how to read in prison. When Hanna was about to be released, she killed herself in prison. Michael somehow had finally told his daughter about this incident.

This movie is really emotional to watch. Maybe because I can relate to some emotions in the movie. The joy and the lost of first love, it can affect a person very much, even well into his/her adulthood. My friend who watched the movie with me also discussed about the crime that Hanna Schmitz committed, whether she should be sentenced because of all the camps and all the other crimes that were going on, only 6 guards who were merely doing their jobs were punished because one of the survivors wrote a book about it. Through the movie, we can really see the emotional breakdown of Michael Berg, how he was trying to let go of Hanna, yet he still sent her tapes. It was through her death that he can let go of the burden.

When we were a few minutes into the movie, we literally went "OHHhhh... Oh My God~~~"
Then the awkward silence in the room while we were stunned to hear the "Ooo"s and "Aaa"s from the screen. But the movie was really classy and artistic and certain elements were there to really reinforce the emotions of the movie.

PS: The male actor, David Kross is only 19 years old!! He looked kinda cute, doesn't he?

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