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Thread: The hope found in apparent hopelessness

  1. #1
    ochiang Guest

    The hope found in apparent hopelessness

    Only word is able to describe the new film by Roman Polanski: AMAZING! I never thought that a director could transcend the viewer past the holocaust while in the middle of Germany’s occupied territory. But, Polanski does it superbly in the "The Pianist".
    In the first scene, we see the title character, the pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), playing on Warsaw radio while bombs drop literal right outside the window of the studio. Actually, it only takes the repercussions of a bomb that explodes through the studio to get Wladyslaw away from the instrument that we see clearly that he was made to play with elegance and beauty.
    Polanski is able to quickly set up to the viewer the giftedness of Wladyslaw. He is considered the best pianist in Poland and, some say, the best in the world. However, as World War II rolls on, Wladyslaw’s family is driven from their home to the Warsaw ghetto where the Nazis place all the Jews. The struggles that the Jews in Polish must endure are portrayed powerfully throughout the middle hour of the film.
    Polanski focuses on the Szpilman family as they adjust from a life of comfort to poverty and misery. Wladyslaw is only able to play in a restaurant where the affluent of the Warsaw Jews go to drink and mingle where his talent is ignored and under appreciated. A patron even asks him to stop playing so that he can count his money. His brother, who is selling books on the street to support the family, even blames Wladyslaw for the apathy of the rich for the poor.
    As the film progresses at a steady pace that never loses its direction, Wladyslaw is able to escape the concentration camps and works his way out of the heavy hand of the Nazis and into the helping hands of friends from the past. Polanski portrays the camaraderie of men in beautiful images and story lines as Wladyslaw moves his way around Poland in hope that the war will end with the occupation of the Russians. Not only is this film hopefully in the understanding of human dignity between men but also what true compassion is to look like: sacrificing ones own comfort and life for the comfort of another who is less fortunate. To lend a helping hand beyond presupposed prejudices and, as a result, bringing out the unique humanity of each person that can be hidden from one’s own heart and eyes because of what we are told to believe about others.
    There is so much more that happens as Wladyslaw tries to free himself from the oppression of the German occupation but that is not the point of the film. It is focused on Wladyslaw, who is wonderfully portrayed by Adrien Brody. The direction of Polanski is wonderful and the cinematography is superb. The story is compelling throughout and remains believable so that the viewer can be brought into the midst of Wladyslaw’s struggles and deliverance.
    There can be hope in places that are devoid of hope. We must be able to see beyond the surface of what our eyes see to those things that make our hearts leap and rise. This hope can be found in something as small as the eloquence of a hungry Polish Jew as his weak fingers work fluidly over the keys of a stand-up piano in the middle of a war torn building. It is difficult for us to see anything noble come out of something as horrific as the Holocaust. However, "The Pianist" vividly illustrates that there is beauty in the midst of darkness, a friend in an army of your enemies, and hope when despair seems to be our only choice.
    Film can transcend what our minds can not imagine and the "The Pianist" succeeds in this endeavor. "The Pianist" will shock you, surprise you, and, in the end, make you want to stand up and cheer as listeners of Szpilman do. Because of Polanski’s success in executing this film, he has made one of the best portrayals of the atrocities of the holocaust. But, more than that, he has made a film about the freeing of the human spirit and joy that is accompanied by the sacrifice of oneself for another.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Utah, USA

    A Weak Character - Adrien Brody

    As I watched The Pianist, I thought of The Great Escape, and the epic saga of the blistering fear and team work, the dedicated efforts and the psychological cost and sacrifice depicted in the heart and wrenching guts of American soldiers attempting to free themselves, many who but gained their freedom, but only briefly. Here, though, in The Pianist, we find a talented individual who seems to drift, dazed by the chaos as his family, his friends, the Polish resistance dies. But as a testament to the human character, his person does not stand out compared to the boldness and strength of his music.


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