movie film review | chris tookey


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  Pianist Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
7.33 /10
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Adrien Brody , Dorota: Emilia Fox
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Directed by: Roman Polanski
Written by: Ronald Harwood , based on Wladyslaw Szpilman’s autobiography

Released: 2002
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: GB/ France/ Germany/ Netherlands/ Poland
Colour: C
Length: 0

Roman Polanski's winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes is his most watchable effort since Chinatown. It contains an excellent performance from Adrien Brody (pictured) as the Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, who survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and the destruction of his family. Brody has the face of a sad-eyed clown, and he makes you feel how it must have been to live through this most painful period of history.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Unfortunately, Szpilman is deficient as the hero of his own drama. He is a passive figure; and though one has to admire his resilience, the most heroic acts are performed by those who risked their lives in order to help him.

Ronald Harwood's methodical screenplay takes us through horrors that many of us know only too well, through other movies and documentaries. Few of the supporting characters come alive, and the relentlessly instructive, pedestrian way it makes its points is reminiscent of TV miniseries.

All the same, it has many strengths. Unlike Schindler's List, which is in every artistic way this film's superior, it sees events from the Jewish point of view, and it is refreshingly frank about good and evil existing on every side.

Its principal value is that it gives an insight into modern Israel, whose seemingly aggressive stance is often incomprehensible to outsiders. It makes better sense when set against this account of a period when Jews were unable to defend themselves from murderous racists. See this, and you may appreciate why they are determined not to make the same mistake again.

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