The Book Thief Film Review

The Book Thief, which released on the 26th of February, is an adaptation of the novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. The novel has won numerous awards and was listed on the New York Times Best Seller list for several weeks. Set during World War Two, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Miminger who is a fostered young girl growing up in war time Nazi Germany. Liesel observes the rise of the Nazis and grows a passion for reading. The plot takes a twist when her family hides a young, Jewish man in their home.

In the book, the narrator is death. This was a clever twist to the book, which I thought was not carried out as successfully in the movie. The storyline is quite difficult to bring to the big screen, as death is the narrator of the novel. We also do not witness the gruesomeness of the war in this film, which was evident in the novel. This might be because the movie is told more from the Liesel’s point of view rather than death’s. The Nazis only seem to serve as the background in Liesel’s life, which does not truly show what life was like in Germany during the war. Overall, I felt that something was lacking in this film, which did not make it as remarkable as the novel.

My expectations for this movie weren’t that great but this film pleasantly surprised me. What made the movie for me was the main actress Sophie Nelisse, who was perfect to play the part of Liesel Meminger. I felt that the transition was print to screen was poor and much prefer the novel to the movie. However, generally this is an entertaining and emotional movie, which is worth watching.

By Gayatri Pillai

Sub-edited by: Charmaine Chudley

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