The Pianist (2002) Review

Synopsis

In this adaptation of the autobiography “The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945,” Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw.

Release date: December 4, 2002

(USA)Director: Roman Polanski

Featured song: Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posth.

Screenplay: Ronald Harwood

My Review

I’m ashamed to say that it took me so long to a watch this film. The Pianist gives its audience an entirely fresh perspective of what Jews faced during the Holocaust. This film touched my soul uniquely. If you have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and go watch it!

Most movies with a Jewish protagonist during WWII showcase what life was like inside of the concentration camps. However, in this film the audience gains knowledge of what life in the Ghetto was like and what life looked like for the Jews that worked outside of Concentration Camps. I loved getting a new outlook on historically accurate events, especially since this film is based on a true story.

Szpilman in his hiding place

The film centers on Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist living in Poland. As his family is being loaded up on trains headed for Concentration Camps, a Jewish friend of Szpilman’s who became a German Solder pulls him out of the crowd saving his life. The rest of the film follows Szpilman trying to survive in an empty ghetto, getting a construction job working for the Germans, and finally hiding out until the end of the war.

This is not a movie for those faint of heart. There is a reason they rate this film R. It’s emotionally jarring and hard to watch at times. However, for that reason I think it’s crucial for us to watch. The acting in this movie is beyond incredible. Adrien Brody, portrays the protagonist film, and his acting is one of the most believable performances I have seen in a very long time. Whatever emotion his character was feeling, I physically felt in my gut. In fact, there were several times I teared up alongside him. The acting along with the lifelike sets made me feel like I was watching a documentary on the actual family versus actors re-creating the historical events.

Szpilman wanders around an empty Jewish Ghetto after being separated from his entire family

I’ve heard people criticizing this film for having too slow of a pace. However, for me this just added to its realist feel. It felt like the film was occurring in real time, which added to its life like feel. I have nothing bad to say about this film. Have you seen this film? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below.

My Rating

5 out of 5

I would definitely watch this film again, and I highly recommend everyone watch it at least once in their lifetime. This film is available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime as of the time I am posting this.

Wladyslaw Szpilman In Real Life

If you enjoy Holocaust centered films, check out my review on Life Is Beautiful. Another film centered on a Jewish family with a unique storyline and perspective.

https://cinematicgeekster.com/2020/04/26/life-is-beautiful-1997-film-review/


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