Thursday, January 22, 2009

Go and See...

...The Reader.
Ok. Hold on. What happened here? German book, English film maker. German setting, English speaking. English actors speaking English with German accents, German actors speaking English with...yes: German accents!?
Was it assumed that there were no good German filmmakers to make a German film? Or was it assumed the English speaking audience was going to be too lazy to read subtitles like in any other film?
Why, Mr. Daldry, don't you make a film with the undoubtedly talented Mrs. Winslet, that doesn't require long-loved German actors like Bruno Ganz (The Downfall) to make a complete monkey of themselves by speaking a foreign language with their own accent in their own country?

On a lighter note, it was nicely photographed, and David Kross' performance was outstanding. Ralph Fiennes, who I actually like very much, had to do a bit much of his 'I just bit my tongue/bit into a lemon/ lost a loved one'-face. (As seen plentifully in The Constant Gardener).

I read the book in highschool. And I remember somehow you were not supposed to like it; while the book was considered to be important, Bernhard Schlink was accused of 'cultural pornograpy'. He was critisised for manipulating the reader into identifying and ultimately liking a nazi. The question of Hannah's guilt and her involvement in 'the final solution' is not dealt with sufficiently.
My main criticism of the film is that Stephen Daldry had the chance to deal with those problems, but did the opposite: The end is just completely ridiculous.
According to its international success it seems hardly anyone in the audience notices that. I assume: Sad ending + tragic music + Fiennes' hurt face = Emotional overload -> audience unable to judge film rationally.


Anonymous said...

very good seen and written.
sometimes it isn`t so easy as filmmakers would like to underestimate the audience: there is not always the god and the evil, not even in nazi times in germany. one may criticise the book but not of the reasons like cultural pornography. in the book it is very well shown, that you have to look at the story and the involved persons very much differentiated, not just polarized. johanna

L E A said...

non non non, Kate Winslet is married to Sam Mendes (American Beauty), not Stephen Daldry...

cinnamon said...

oohoops you are right, her husband made revolutionary road with her, right?...all mixed up. thanks, I corrected it (I had also spelled the poor man wrong:S