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The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas Book vs. Film Review

“The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas” is written by Irish writer John Boyne and was published in January 2006. A film adaptation of the book, directed by Mark Herman, was later released in 2008. The story is a Holocaust drama based on the horror of the WW2 extermination camps, seen through the eyes of two eight-year-old boys – the son of a Nazi commandant (Bruno) and a Jewish inmate (Shmuel). The two form a secret friendship, leading to the most misfortune events in real heartbreaking circumstances. I first watched the film about half a year ago, after my friend had seen it at the theatre and told me how moving the storyline was. I absolutely loved the film, purely because of its original storyline that hasn’t been expressed in stories of war before. The whole focus of the film is in the ending of the story. From the book, we know that Bruno sneaks into the extermination camp, wearing the pyjamas as disguise, to help find Shmuel’s father. The film shows us scenes of Bruno (Asa Butterfield) and Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) being forced into a gas chamber where they both die, whilst Bruno’s family are frantically

trying to find him, running around in the rain. They find his clothes outside of the camp. Realising what has happened, the film ends as his mother (Vera Farmiga) and father (David Thewlis) stand cursing the sky, screaming in horror. The book manages to capture this scene in two or three pages, telling the story as if the boys vanished into thin air and Bruno’s family not being able to quite understand why. For this reason, mainly, I really didn’t enjoy the book. I can honestly say that this is the first time I have had a preference for the film rather than the book, and I’ve recognised that it’s quite a common opinion. I know it’s quite a controversial thing to say and I understand that the film is originated by the book, but the book holds none of the emotion that the film captures. But my dislike is not only in comparison to the film, but in general as well. The writing was constantly repetitive, referring to insignificant points that had previously been made. I found myself wanting to skip through chapters to get to the important part of the story. I guess it just wasn’t that interesting on paper.

By Charlie Derry:

The Boy In The Stripped Pyjamas - Film vs. Book Review  

Book vs film review for The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas.

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