The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Director: Mark Herman

Writer: Mark Herman (Screenplay) John Boyne (Novel)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga


Plot: Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Tagline – A story of innocence in a world of ignorance

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Heart Shattering Movie


Story: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas starts as Bruno (Butterfield) and his family Mother (Farmiga), Father (Thewlis) and sister Gretel (Beattie) move from Berlin to the countryside during World War II. The new home takes Bruno’s family near a concentration camp, this leaves Bruno wondering why everyone there is where Pyjamas and leaving him forbidden from going out of the house.

When Bruno befriends one of the boys Shmuel (Scanlon) who is in the camp, Bruno must start to learn why the people are being kept like this as he learns that Jews are considered the enemy of his country, but he doesn’t understand this. The truth will only shatter Bruno’s view on the world.


Thoughts on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas


Characters – Bruno is the 8-year-old boy living in Germany during World War II, he doesn’t understand the world yet, he must learn that his new friends are Jews and considered the enemies to the non-Jews. He tries to become friends while not becoming blinkered like his own sister to what is expected within Germany at the time, showing us the innocence that was affected by war. Father is the rest why the family must move, he is in charge of the concentration camp but hiding the truth from his family. Mother tries to put a smile on but when she learns the truth she is in shock with what her husband is doing but can’t talk out because it would leave her with the same fate. Shmuel is the Jewish boy that Bruno befriends, he is in the concentration camp which makes their friendship forbidden but through him we see how Bruno doesn’t see how the world truly is.

PerformancesAsa Butterfield is fantastic in the leading role, he shows all the innocence to play this character. David Thewlis is always good in the almost villainous role, while he is the bad figure in history, he is a good father. Vera Farmiga is great as the mother that sees the light in what is going on and how wrong it is. Jack Scanlon is great as the Jewish boy that is behind the fence that befriends Bruno, he shows the despair in what the Jews would be going through.

StoryThe story is already dealing with one of the most disturbing events in modern history as we see how the Germans handled the Jews. Seeing this from the perspective of an innocent Germany boy who doesn’t know what is wrong or right about the war shows us how horrific the events were. This is a story of how he must learn what is really going without ever being shown the truth he doesn’t know what is going on while we see both sides of his family react to what is happening differently. This is by far one of the most disturbing and shocking stories you will ever see that shows the heart break of what happened and how the children never knew the horrors of war.

WarThis doesn’t show the conflict of war, it shows the separation that the Germans had with the Jews through the eyes of young boy who didn’t know what was going on.

SettingsThe settings are Berlin and a countryside location never mentioned, it shows the divide created by the Germans in the war for no reason other than God figure people believed in.

Scene of the Movie –
The adventure in Bruno’s mind.

That Moment That Annoyed Me English accents.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most heart breaking movies you will see, it shows that the victims of war came from all sides and the reality of it was even worse.


Overall: Brings your tissues along.




ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – F – Force Majeure (2014)

Director: Ruben Ostlund

Writer: Ruben Ostlund (Screenplay)

Starring: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius


Plot: A family vacationing in the French Alps is confronted with a devastating avalanche.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Not What I Was Expecting


Story: Force Majeure starts as our family Tomas (Kuhnke), Ebba (Kongsli), Vera (Wettergren), Harry (Wettergren) on their skiing holiday, this does feel like the first time they have come together in a while and as the holiday continues the strain they are experiencing becomes clear.

When an avalanche comes towards the family but fails to hit them, Tomas finds himself running from it leaving Ebba with the kids, this puts a new strain on their marriage which gets put to the test for the rest of the trip as Ebba challenges Tomas to accept his weaknesses and mistake during the moment of crisis.


Thoughts on Force Majeure


Characters – Tomas is the father of the family, it looks like he does spend a lot of time working and being attached to his phone away from the family and this trip is his chance to prove he loves them all but it is his mistake that leaves him even more distant from the family. Ebba is the mother that does seem to care the kids the most as in spending all the time with them, she gets frustrated with Tomas after the incident challenging to prove he does care. The kids don’t get too much introduction and we also have the family friends or holiday makers that give their thoughts on what happened.

PerformanceThe performances are all good through the film with the couple feeling natural the friends all coming off natural as well as the discussion being natural.

StoryGoing into this movie I was expecting a disaster movie or at least a family trying to survive after an avalanche, well I was made to look stupid here, this is a comedy drama about one man’s reaction of a potential disaster and needing to rebuild the trust in the relationship with his family. When you look at the film the way it was meant to be watched you can also see the qualities because you are left to wonder what your own reaction could be and what you would think of your loved ones if they react the same as Tomas.

ComedyThis is mostly a comedy drama so it doesn’t turn in a laugh a minute film but gives you a giggle at small moments while also tackling a serious question.

SettingsThe film is set entirely on the French Alps resorts be in it in the hotel or on the slopes which shows us just how this one week to bring the family closer could push them further apart.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used on one scene at that is the avalanche moment which shows us what we could be facing and the fear it would create.

Scene of the Movie – The avalanche.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is my personal pick and it is mostly the frustration of expecting a different movie.

Tagline – The Consequences in the fear and flight situation

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy drama looking at the serious idea of what would happen if you faced disaster with your family, would you make the correct decision which is a nice twist on the disaster movie because they usually bring families back together.


Overall: Nice twist on the disaster movie.