Posted on 4/21/07 07:42 AM
There a films that come along from time to time that just blow audiences away, which a brilliant performance or a magnificent storyline. The film ?The Pianist? dares to bring both of these and so much more, Adrien Brody stars as Wladyslaw Szpilman a Polish Jew musician.
Szpilman faces the hardships of the times as a Jew in the most horrible of times, Germany 1940?s, a very talented and well known pianist, having played for radio stations across the land. Szpilman and his family bind together in schemes to survive in this terrifying time, but are split apart only to favor Wladyslaw if you see a positive in watching your entire family being shipped away by train to what can only be conceived as there illicit deaths.
Szpilman doesn?t appear as a Rambo of this era, more of ordinary in his movements and careful with his actions, trying to not attract attention. This isn?t to say he doesn?t show the characteristics of a brave man, to simply survive in this story in one of great bravery. Escaping the trains to the gas chambers was fortunate to say the least, his escape of the Warsaw ghetto showed great determination in a willingness to not allow this to happen, not to him.
Through the film we are shown both sides of races and the way they can be so different and similar in one, Szpilman has the help of Germans in the film as they scamper him from safe house to safe house. Those willing to help and those who give the intentions of helping yet see it as only a way of personal gain more than anything, quite inhumane and despicable. Where we even see nearing the end of the film even a Nazi soldier, able to show some humanity finding Szpilman playing the piano only how he can, instead of shooting and killing him the soldier offers him a coat and a safe haven to stay until the war is over.
Roman Polanski has a pile of great films, the one I remember best is his version of Macbeth in 1971, having studied it in my schooling years it was a film that was not only brilliant to learn but excellent to view. The Pianist is as much a pleasure to view as Macbeth ever was, succeeding it with great ease that is how great this film is.
The film has the passion to rival any film, you feel for Szpilman of course but he is one of the few fortunate in the film and the real-time happenings. Some scenes will make you question the audacity of the Nazi soldiers even knowing the history, knowing how brutal the Nazi? were with the Jews. In one scene a Jewish family sit at the dinner table, Nazi? barge in on this dinner making every family member stand at the table, unable to stand an elder man in a wheelchair. The harshness of the Nazi soldiers is typified in this one scene as they toss the disabled man out of a window from the second floor, downright sickening.
Hardly a feel-good film, a touching re-enactment of a time that not only punished the Jews but put a deplorable face on man, in this unforgettable film for all the wrong reasons. Polanski' 'The Pianist' is a film that rivals any that are laid before it, with its harsh truths and impious happenings making it a must see film.