Kamis, 04 Agustus 2011

The Pianist (2002)

Heylo, people!

On this happy occasion, I would like to tell you a movie tittled The Pianist. Well, this movie is not a new one, but, I think not many people knew about this movie. Same as Cinderella Story that I have mentioned earlier, The Pianist was adapted from a real incident. This movie tells about a famous Jewish pianist in Poland. And here is the plot I take from Wikipedia.org.

Władysław Szpilman, a famous Polish Jewish pianist working for Warsaw Radio, sees his whole world collapse with the outbreak of World War II and the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. After the radio station is rocked by explosions from German bombing, Szpilman goes home and learns that the United Kingdom and France have declared war on Nazi Germany. He and his family rejoice, believing the war will end quickly.

When the German Army enters Warsaw, living conditions for the Jewish population gradually deteriorate as their rights are slowly eroded: first they are allowed only a limited amount of money per family, then they must wear armbands imprinted with the blue Star of David to identify themselves, and eventually, in November 1940, they are all forced into the squalid Warsaw Ghetto. There, they face hunger, persecution and humiliation from the SS and the ever-present fear of death, torture and starvation. The Nazis become increasingly sadistic and the family witnesses many horrors inflicted on other Jews. In one scene, a group of Einsatzgruppen, led by an NCO, go into the apartment across from the Szpilmans. They order the family on the top floor to stand, then when an elderly man in a wheelchair is unable to comply, the SS throw him off the balcony. The rest of the family are then taken out into the street and shot, and the SS drive off, running over the bodies along the way.

Before long, the family, along with thousands of others, are rounded up as part of Operation Reinhard for deportation to the extermination facility at Treblinka. As the Jews are being forced onto rail cars, Szpilman is saved at the last moment by one of the Jewish Ghetto Police, who happens to be a family friend. Separated from his family and loved ones, Szpilman manages to survive. At first he is pressed into a German reconstruction unit inside the ghetto as a slave labourer. During this period, another Jewish labourer confides to Szpilman two critical pieces of information: one, that many Jews who still survive know of the German plans to exterminate them, and two, that a Jewish uprising against the Germans is being actively prepared for. Szpilman volunteers his help for the plan. He is enlisted to help smuggle weapons into the ghetto, almost being caught at one point.

Later, before the uprising starts, Szpilman decides to go into hiding outside the ghetto, relying on the help of non-Jews who still remember him such as an ex-coworker of his from the radio station. While living in hiding, he witnesses many horrors committed by the SS, such as widespread killing, beating and burning of Jews and others (the burning is mostly shown during the two Warsaw uprisings). In 1943, Szpilman also finally witnesses the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising he helped to bring about, and its aftermath as the SS forcibly enters the ghetto and kills nearly all the remaining insurgents. A year goes by and life in Warsaw further deteriorates. Szpilman is forced to flee his first hiding place after a neighbor discovers he is hiding there. In his second hiding place, near a German military hospital, he is shown into a room with a piano and then told to be as quiet as possible. Here, he nearly dies from jaundice and malnutrition.

In August 1944, the Polish resistance mounts the Warsaw Uprising against the German occupation. Szpilman witnesses the Polish insurgents fighting the Germans outside his window. Again, Szpilman narrowly escapes death when a German tank shells the apartment he is hiding in. Warsaw is virtually razed and depopulated as a result of the fighting (see Aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising). After the surviving Warsaw population is deported from the ruins and the German SS escape from the approaching Soviet Army, Szpilman is left entirely alone. In buildings still standing, he searches desperately for food. While trying to open a can of Polish pickles, Szpilman is discovered by a captain of the Wehrmacht, Wilm Hosenfeld. Upon questioning Szpilman and discovering that he is a pianist, Hosenfeld asks Szpilman to play something for him on the grand piano that happens to be in the building. The decrepit Szpilman, still a musical genius, plays "Ballade in G-Minor, Op. 23" by Frederic Chopin, moving Hosenfeld to spare Szpilman.

Hosenfeld lets Szpilman continue hiding in the attic of the building and even brings him food regularly, thus saving his life. Another few weeks go by, and the German troops are forced to withdraw from Warsaw due to the advance of Red Army troops. Before leaving the area, Hosenfeld asks Szpilman what his name is, and, upon hearing it, remarks that it is apt for a pianist (Szpilman being the Polish rendering of the German Spielmann, meaning "man who plays"). Hosenfeld also promises to listen for Szpilman on Polish Radio. He gives Szpilman his Wehrmacht uniform greatcoat and leaves. Later, that coat is almost fatal for Szpilman when Polish troops, liberating the ruins of Warsaw, take him for a German officer and shoot at him. He is eventually able to convince them that he is Polish, and they stop shooting. One soldier asks him why he is wearing a Wehrmacht coat, to which Szpilman replies, "I am cold."

As newly freed prisoners of a concentration camp pass a fenced-in enclosure of German prisoners of war sitting on the ground and guarded by Soviet soldiers, they start collectively verbally abusing the prisoners, with one tirading that he used to be a violinist. A visibly beaten Hosenfeld, a shadow of his former once proud demeanor, comes up to the fence and asks the violinist if he is familiar with Szpilman, which the violinist confirms. Hosenfeld states that he helped him in hiding and asks if Szpilmann can return the favor. Szpilman, now playing live on Warsaw Radio, is visited by the violinist in the studio, who takes him to the site with all the prisoners having been removed along with any trace of the stockade. In the film's final scene, Szpilman triumphantly performs Chopin's Grand Polonaise brillante in E flat major to a large audience in Warsaw. Title cards shown just before the end credits reveal that Szpilman continued to live in Warsaw and died in 2000, but that Hosenfeld died in 1952 in a Soviet prisoner-of-war camp.

Actually, I don't really like antiquity movies which have a lot of shooting scenes. They are kind of movies that I might not watch because it is very boring to me. However, I started to love that kind of movies after watching the Down Hill. The film also tells the massacre of Jews by the Germans, and the defeat of Germany by Russia. This movie has many fight scenes that often makes my head hurt and wanted to puke. However, because the storyline is good, I become like it and make this kind of movies as an exception.

I give this film 4 stars because of it's good storyline, and give it hundreds stars because it has eliminated my boredom. And I recommend this film for you. This is a must be watched film!

Love, Meela xx.

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