The Pianist

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating:Rated R for violence and brief strong language
Starring: Adrien Brody
Directed by:Roman Polanski

Final Grade:

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to see a film that easily makes my list of tough reviews to write. I spent my Thursday night watching Roman Polanski’s The Pianist. Normally I try to relate this the movie to something in my life, or even just try to make some fun jokes here and there about things, but this is a film that just doesn’t have that type of tone. So without any thing else, I give you, The Pianist.

The Pianist is the story of a Polish man, Wladyslaw Szpilmanm (Adrien Brody) who is a Jew in Warsaw during World War 2. Szpilmanm is a gifted Pianist and his skills well recognized. But Nazi’s ship both he and his family off to Nazi labor camps. Szpilmanm is determined however to escape the Nazi’s and return to the war torn ruins of his once loved city.

So that’s pretty much the summary of it. But don’t get me wrong it’s a two and a half hour history lesson you won’t forget. Director Roman Polanski, who was a holocaust survivor himself, gives us a bitter portrayal of what it was like to live during the time period, every day fearing for your life. You can tell that his work is filled with heartfelt emotion and Polanski does a great job of reanimating the horrific scenes of holocaust.

As far as acting goes, Adrien Brody gave a performance of a lifetime, one that he should be very proud of. His portrayal of his character draws you in and makes you want to watch, even though the subject matter can make you a little queasy at times. Polanski found a great actor in Brody and used him to near perfection.

Aside from the acting it is important to look at the film itself since I can’t hype it up by it’s disturbing plot. Cinematically it was a wonderful film. The stylistic elements, (ways things were shot, lighting, camera angles ect.) are ones that a true film appreciator can enjoy. The only main problem with it was the film’s two and half-hour runtime, which may be a turnoff to most filmgoers. It has it’s slow scenes, just like every film but The Pianist almost seemed to drag at some points. However it is easy to overlook the dragging parts if you are in the right mindset.

To sum it all up, The Pianist isn’t your happy lets go to the movies type of show, but instead is a powerful film (there is a difference). When ever I come out of a movie such as Kangaroo Jack I don’t feel like I have gained anything intellectually by watching it. (I have been told if I did there would be something wrong with me.) But after watching The Pianist I can honestly say I did. So amidst the slew of holocaust pictures that are out there now days (this seems to be the new trend) give The Pianist a chance. Any review I write of it will never really do the film justice, since it is a film that you truly have to see to find enjoyment in it, so if you are in the mood for a quality film, check it out, but if you are in the mood for something light hearted and utterly stupid stay home and watch Joe Millionaire or something…

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