What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread
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January 25th, 2009, 04:43
The Pianist -
It was alright, i mean, seeing someone gradually driven to almost prehistoric type of existence in the wreckage of the Warsaw ghetto. As w/ most of Polanski's films (one of my favorite directors), it's a character study, and I think it's well done on the technical and character building front. The main character is not an action hero, he's not a genius, he's not a hunk. He's a normal guy, thrown into a situation that would drive most people over the edge. That's what I like about Roman's films. What would I do? Here there is no question of the sanity of the protagonist, what he perceives is indeed very real - he's deep in the heart of German-occupied Poland and things are getting real ugly.
I often have a hard time w/ a lot of WWII movies in their depiction of the Nazis, basically as a monolithic group of inhuman monsters one and all, and this film does tend to have one despicable act after another rolled out for the viewer (Think that was shocking? Well watch THIS! Think that was gnarly? What about TTHHISS! baM!) to cement the fact that nazis=pure evil. However, the fact that it's centered on the Warsaw ghetto, one of the historically fiercest fronts in the Nazi Vs Jew lore of the period, makes it a little easier to swallow as the monstrous atrocities stack up. A Nazi near the end is depicted as more than a soulless ghoul, and I have to say that quite surprised me.
Then again, Polanski himself a native of Poland, literally lived thru the Holocaust. How could I ever truly know what it was like? I just know that I have played thru enough WW2 games killing evil nazis, and seen enough WW2 movies about evil nazis, and endured enough invocations of Godwins Law during the silliest of internet arguments to make me wonder if the timeworn given of the seeming mass-demonic possession of the German army during the period was perhaps just a little over-hyped. If anything, it's just terribly cliche and becoming more groan-inducing as time goes on.
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