So You Like Books?: My Thoughts on The Book Thief

Another tear-jerker. I finally got the chance to watch The Book Thief, based on the novel by Markus Zusack. Set in Hitler’s Germany during World War II, the main character, a young girl named Liesel Meminger finds herself adjusting to her adoptive family. She finds comfort in reading books and sharing them with others.

First of all let me just say that the actress who played Liesel and the actor who played her best friend, Rudy Stiener, were really cute. The movie deviated from the book a bit, but that’s to be expected. No movie based on a book is going to be perfect. And the things that they changed were minor. Nothing to have a fit over. But there’s no way they filmed this movie on a soundstage. It looked too much like Germany to be fake.

Overall, I felt they captured the major points in the book and executed them beautifully. I felt the same way I did when reading the book: sad because of the war going on and all of the death it entails, but happy for Liesel at the same time because she has a loving family, even if her adoptive mother can be a bit stern sometimes.

I think the scene that had the most impact on me was the Hitler Youth Group. The kinds were at school, and they were singing, while they showed lots of men fighting and dying in the middle of war. The juxtaposition of battle with pro-Germany music in the background seemed ironic.

I really liked this movie, but I recommend reading the book first. You’ll have a better sense of what’s going on.


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