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The Pianist is Must See Movie About the Holocaust.

the pianist review
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Music is the source of life. 

When the first bombs fall on Warsaw, pianist Władysław Szpilman plays Chopin on the radio. For the next two and a half hours, he will survive the horrors of the Holocaust, thanks to inexplicable luck.

Today, I want to share my The Pianist movie review essay. I hope you will love this great picture as I do.

The Pianist summary.

The Pianist (2002) is a film by Roman Polanski based on the memoirs The Death of the City by Polish-Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman. In 2002, the film received The Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. And in 2003 it won three nominations at the Oscars, including Best Actor (Adrien Brody), Best Director (Roman Polanski and Best Screenplay (Ronald Harwood).

Adrien Brody became the youngest winner in the category “Best Actor in a Leading Role,” having received the award at the age of 29. For this role, Adrian learned the compositions of Frederic Chopin and lost 14 kg. By the way, Janusz Olejniczak performs musical parts on the piano for the actor.

In The Pianist, Polanski told the story of Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish musician and composer. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the family of a young musician was left without a livelihood and then ended up in the Warsaw ghetto. In May 1943, the ghetto was liquidated, and Shpilman miraculously managed to avoid being sent to Treblinka. However, a few months later, when the Warsaw Uprising began, the musician again had to fight for survival desperately. His ally in this struggle was the German soldier Wilhelm Hosenfeld, who was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations after the war.

I think that The Pianist is not a typical military drama about the genocide of Jews, set by Schindler’s List and Beautiful Life, which are considered standard in their genre.

We see the Warsaw ghetto through the eyes of the pianist Shpilman, literally “turned” on music, surviving in rented apartments or bombed-out buildings, watching the horrors of fascism through the edges of windows or what is left of them.

Together with his hero, accompanied by the pearls of creativity of the Polish romantic composer Frederic Chopin, the actor follows the path of survival, emerging unscathed from situations in which, it would seem, he is doomed to death. He is strengthened only by the fire of art burning in his soul on this path. We see Shpilman at the moment when he moves his fingers through the air over the piano keyboard in one of the shelters because you can’t make noise – otherwise, they will kill you.

In addition, this picture was filmed without any intervention from Hollywood. And the movie turned out beautiful. Scenes from Warsaw in 1939 were filmed on location, not in pavilions. The ‘destroyed’ city is also of high quality; the ruins look really depressing and show the true face of the Second World War.

the pianist film analysis
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My thoughts about The Pianist.

The Pianist is a personal story where the director had the opportunity to deal with his painful memories of the Second World War. Young Polanski managed to escape from the Krakow ghetto and survived the Holocaust. But unfortunately, the boy’s mother died during the war, and his father ended up in Mauthausen.

Also, we know that Roman Polanski was offered to film Schindler’s List, but he refused because he could not make a film about the Krakow ghetto.

The question that Polanski’s novel raises is what should art do when there is war all around? Is art appropriate in some terrible moments of history?

When the pianist plays during the bombing of Warsaw, the first scene immediately tells us that this is a story of a pianist and love for music, not a brutal hero.

Although he wanted to join an underground anti-fascist group but its boss directly tells him that you are too much of a pianist for this job. Almost immediately, there is a scene where Szpilman tries to help the boy, and the boy dies in his arms. This scene is another confirmation that the pianist has a different path in this war.

The pianist is an observation from the side; the hero is not acting but tries to get lost. It is the story of a loner who got into terrible circumstances and then an individual survival experience.

If we talk about his character, then it is worth saying that he is a very solid and highly positive person, but not a hero. Therefore, the film does not glorify his life and courage but objectively tells about an amazing person as one of the many Polish Jews who fell into the terrible realities of the war. I think that the film’s impact on the viewer is so strong primarily because of the realistic and positive central character.

But Vladek is genuinely saved by music, which he plays from memory, without an instrument. 

The music here is a source of life, which goes out when the Germans appear and is reborn again when they retreat.

Toward the end of the film, another hero appears, in which there are also negative and positive features.

The German captain Wilhelm Hosenfeld (Thomas Kretschmann) discovers Vladek in one of the abandoned houses. This man, who is forced to serve his country and follow orders, although he is ashamed of what his compatriots are doing, sympathizes with the victims of the war and tries to do something to help them. The scene where Hosenfeld asks Shpilman to play the piano for him is a scene of incredible strength, power, and even beauty. After all, this wonderful unearthly music sounds in a devastated city, in a dilapidated building. It is performed by a hiding Jew and listened to by his German officer.

As if this scene shows that even in a world engulfed in war, the beautiful has not yet disappeared; the persecuted and persecuted Jews do not give up. Moreover, not all Germans firmly believe in Nazi ideals.

Again, at the end of the film, we see another musician freed from the ghetto, who speaks to the Germans with pain in his soul“You took everything I had. Me, a musician. You took my violin, you took my soul.» War is terrible not only because of human casualties but also because of the loss of purpose, the meaning of life.

What happens at the end of The Pianist?

Szpilman returns to Polish Radio after the war and performed Chopin’s “Grande Polonaise Brillante” in front of a vast and famous audience. It is known that Szpilman died on July 6, 2000, at the age of 88. Also, in the textual epilogue, it says that Hosenfeld died in 1952 while still in Soviet captivity.

the pianist movie review
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I hope you enjoyed reading The Pianist review essay. It is a compelling movie that shows the full horror of war on the example of the personal tragedy of one person.

It is beneficial to review such films in peacetime. Perhaps this will help to appreciate our life and peace on earth more.

Share this blog post if you enjoyed it. I would really appreciate it!   

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I`m in love with movies and psychology. Here I write how we can use movies for healing and self-growth. Also, be sure to check out my movie lists. You will find cool suggestions for movie night.

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I`m in love with movies and psychology. Here I write how we can use movies for healing and self-growth. Also, be sure to check out my movie lists. You will find cool suggestions for movie night.

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