A young German boy, Bruno (Asa Butterfield) embarks on a friendship with a young Jewish boy, Shmauel (Jack Scanlon) who is imprisoned in the concentration camp near Bruno’s home.
When I revisited this film, I thought I had already reviewed this film before. However, it would appear that was not the case.
I remember seeing the film way back in 2008 when it first came out. I think for certain my attitudes towards the film have significantly changed as have my perceptions in the intervening 8 years.
Of course there are massive flaws in this story and I won’t really go into them because a lot of reviews of both book and film have gone into them already. I didn’t see a problem with the flaws of the story until a few years ago. I really don’t know whether or not little children who watch this film or read the book will pick up on the massive plot hole in the story. Or, who knows, maybe they will simply seek to look for an identifiable character in a very human tragedy.
Despite this, it is quite a sweet solid little film. Asa Butterfield is great in his role of a child trying to get a grip with his surroundings and trying to perceive his seemingly contented life in relation to the tumult of the outside world. In the same way, Scanlon’s portrayal of Shmauel was good and on a par with Butterfield’s. I think they certainly worked well together as a duo.
Ultimately, don’t watch this film for its historical accuracy or inaccuracy. It is a film about childhood loss of innocence as well as characters who are by no means perfect. The film itself is also quite short at around 90 minutes, which seems a lot shorter than I remember it to be.
MY RATING: *** / *****