I have just finished watching The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which I said I would seek out after reading the book.
As far as a movie goes, it was pretty good. The director has cast wonderful actors for this film, and the way in which Bruno’s relationship with his father is played on is particularly good. This is something we don’t see very much in the book, so it pleased me that Bruno’s lack of faith in his father’s position of power was noted. It also showed some bits which Boyne does not discuss in the novel, such as the relationship between Bruno’s mother and father (making it apparent his mother does not know the extent of the atrocious happenings at Auschwitz).
The musical score was rather good, but Bruno’s attitude sometimes came off as ignorance rather than innocence (which is how I read it in the book). One could find it hard to believe for example that Bruno would lack even an ounce of anti-semiticism growing up in Nazi Germany. All in all however, the story of friendship in light of these atrocities shines through.
Another aspect of the film which was interesting, was the way in which it highlighted how the Nazis manipulated others to believe something different was happening in the work camp: Bruno’s mother Elsa does not know that it is in fact a death camp until later in the movie; and there is a scene where a film about Auschwitz has been manipulated by the media to make it look like a wonderful place to live and work.
One reason why this movie touched me so greatly is due to my particular interest in the First and Second World Wars, and having visited Auschwitz and Birkenau on two separate occasions. One cannot truly appreciate the horror those held there must have faced until visited personally, and this is what is portrayed by Bruno once he enters the camp himself.
Not altogether historically accurate, and seemingly ignorant at times; however, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a poignant, touching movie which has done the author of the novel proud.