In this epic drama Adrian Brody plays a Polish ex-musician surviving during the German occupation of Poland. Brody’s character is one of the very few Jews who had yet to be collected and shipped off to the concentration camp. The movie follows Brody as he wanders around not knowing what to do, where to go, where to sleep, or what to eat.
As he is walking around and discovering what has become of his old town, bombshells exploding in the distance present themselves as a threat to his life. Brody has a scared but somber attitude almost suggesting that he would be okay if his life were to be taken. He has not much of a life at this point to salvage anyway.
His entire town is reduced to mere rubble and he doesn’t know where anyone is. He can only assume that the bodies he doesn’t find littering the streets are now somewhere in the concentration camp. It seems as if Germany is overlooking that town, having written it off as ‘controlled’. There are very few foot soldiers patrolling around which allows Brody to remain unbound as long as he stays out of sight.
The only immediate dangers aside from be seen and captured by German soldiers is the occasional, and sometimes not so distant, air raids as wells as the dilapidating shells of buildings around him. Throughout the whole movie what’s left of building are crashing around him and you wonder if that will be what kills him. There are a few close calls but he always makes it out.
My favorite scene is probably the most artistic one within the film in which Brody is hiding from unaware German soldiers in the next room. He ducks behind a door to not be seen and discovers an upright piano along on wall. He silently sits down on the piano bench and places his fingers over the ivory white keys without actually touching them. A beautiful and hauntingly dramatic piano score begins to play with Brody’s hands and finger synced to what is heard by the audience but silent within the story. This scene is overly long but not in a bad way. It is beautiful and the piano piece he acts as a literary device within the story line, allowing the viewer to see his longing for not only to physically be able to play the piano again but also his past life before the occupation. His thoughts highlight the chapters of his life as a successful player with a life and friends and loved ones before everything changed. The screen gives way to a montage of a well dressed Brody at an earlier time as he takes a mental hiatus from his current situation.
The Pianist is a wonderful movie that gives you insight to what suffering war and loss bring on. The film does this in a dramatic way because it is real and not because of any over the top Hollywood enhancement other than high quality recording and smart production choices.
As this viewer has recommended in this review, we at Flixaddict.com also recommend The Pianist as a touching, gripping movie that makes us think deeply about what we should be thankful for.
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