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Schindlers List - Movie Review Example

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Of all the ill-fated events that have struck on this planet, natural or man-made, Holocaust in particular has been one of the most horrendous tragedies. Post World War II, as the reality behind “The Final Solution” was known; the stories of Nazi genocide have tore our hearts through powerful cinematic interpretations by artists such as The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), Sophie’s Choice (1982), Schindler’s List (1993), Life is Beautiful (1999), The Pianist (2002)…
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Schindlers List
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Download file to see previous pages The plot of Schindler’s List runs on multiple accounts under the overall parasol of German atrocities on Jews, but at the core of film is rooted on the transformational narrative of a corrupt and flamboyant German businessman named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) into an unexpected hero for the Jews. In the event of German capture of Poland in 1939, Oskar moves to Krakow in hopes of establishing a business with the help of local Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley). Initially to prosper but eventually to rescue Nazi victims, Oskar bribes the brutal SS Lieutenant Amon Goth (Ralph Fiennes). The documentary style of the story, scripted by Steven Zaillian that is based on Thomas Keneally’s book Schindler’s Ark, excels in describing what had actually happened. Since, not much was written about Oskar Schindler (Manchel, 1995 March), Zaillian had the flexibility to mould the character in the best possible manner. The essence of story would not have been captured in the movie that well if it were not because of powerful and gripping performances given by the cast. Liam Neeson’s portrayal Oskar, an enigmatic entrepreneur, with a carefree attitude exudes confidence and empathy. To the other extreme is Ralph Fiennes’ Goth character, a psychopath and cold Nazi official. The third arc, Stern essayed by Ben Kingsley has been portrayed as a calculative businessman with a hidden agenda to save lives. Minor roles such as Helen Hirsch (Embeth Davidtz) - the object of Goth’s lust and the Jewish couple that marries in the concentration camp helped recreate images of humiliation, grief and torture, often providing useful insights about the cultural chasm created at the time. The powerhouse of acting in the film coupled with equally powerful technical expertise in filmmaking provides audience the desired effect of being right there in Krakow, 1939. A variety of visual and auditory techniques have been used to inject right emotions in each frame. Using real locations, Krakow (Poland), Aushwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp (Poland) and Jerusalem, Israel (The Internet Movie Database, 1993), Spielberg enhance movie’s claims of authenticity and credibility. The settings of dark and damp Aushwitz camp, kitchenware factory of Krakow or the posh German nightclub by production designer Allan Starski add authenticity to the story’s interest. For example, a stark duality between two back-to-back scenes, one detailing Oskar’s rich wardrobe and the other of thousands of Jews entering Krakow provides to audience an apt visualization of the two worlds of Germans and Jews. Adding to the set-design, costumes by designer Anna Sheppard also highlights the stark brutalities amongst powerful and the powerless. Oskar’s movie star possessions, Nazi uniforms, German women’s chic dresses and innocent captives’ modest clothing opinionates viewers towards what the director is narrating. The monochromatic palette transports the viewer to that era by switching from the riches to the ghettos, and from the ghettos to the camps. Despite the fact that the film is in black-and-white, specific use of color has been used 5 times to bring viewer’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Schindlers List
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