Video Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief is a well-scripted and directed movie, but still only gets a six out of 10 on the rating scale. Rated PG-13, the film is based on the novel written by Markus Zusak about a little girl named Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nelisse) who is sheltered by her foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) during World War II in Nazi Germany. She befriends a boy named Rudy (Nico Liersch), and a Jewish man named Max (Ben Schnetzer) who takes refuge in her home.

The Book Thief is narrated by Death, who tells the story of Liesel. After the death of her brother, she goes to his funeral and steals a book that drops out of the gravedigger’s coat pocket. The thing is, she can’t read. Then after being fostered into the Hubbermann’s household, Hans finds the book under the mattress and gets inspired to teach Liesel Later on in the movie, she develops a mutual friendship with the mayor’s wife, Ilsa Hermann. She lets Liesel read her library book during a laundry visit by Rosa. When Ilsa has to stop using Rosa’s services, Liesel begins stealing books from her.

Liesel steals books, and later begins reading and writing as a way of helping others and coping with her life. When asked by her friend, Rudy, why she steals books, she says: “When life robs you, sometimes you have to rob it back.”

The actors in this movie are talented, but at times their performances are lacking.

Michael Petron did a great job at writing the script and it flowed smoothly as the characters shown through the film. As for the director, Brian Percival, he took aim at too many close up shots instead of being more adventurous trying to capture characters and scenery. Percival did a good job at shot choice, but did not challenge himself. The soundtrack was stunning and the costumes for the characters matched perfectly for the time period.
The storyline of this film is amazing and it also raises questions towards the end. The Book Thief is recommended not only because it has a great storyline, but also because it challenges you to research and find out more about the events that took place during this period in history.