** This is a review I did a long time ago, on the 9th of February 2011, and published in my previous blog "Paint The Sky". But as you did not read this before, I thought I may share my thoughts with you. Pay attention to spoilers, as I shall be telling you about The Reader **
… is immeasurable… it can change ones life and bring ones death… it can bring people of different ages together and it can create special bonds between themselves… this is what “The Reader” is all about.
The movie was released in 2008 and it is after a book written by Bernhard Schlink. I first read the book when I was in the 12th grade maybe… I found it indeed touching and interesting as one of my soft spots is the period or Hitlers rise and fall and the extermination of the Jews in that age. The book tells us a story somehow related to that subject – not quite, but still…
***THE READER opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from “The Odyssey,” “Huck Finn” and “The Lady with the Little Dog.” Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life – this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna’s past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another. Written by The Weinstein Company
The movie brings me back memories and helped me remember the book… it is quite accurate…
***Kate Winslet is Hannah Schmitz, the beautiful german lady who teaches young Michael Berg – played by David Kross most wonderfully – the art of love/making love. Their bond is a powerful one, that follows Michael during his whole lifetime.
Hannah is illiterate and cannot write or read but she does appreciate art in her own way. She is afraid and ashamed to be discovered of this, and that is why – in the end – she gets convicted for her crimes and blamed for all of the others…
***To have knowledge is a powerful thing!
***While they were lovers – for that single summer when Michael transformed from a boy to a man – the 2 had certain rituals: first he would read to Hannah, and after that they would make love.
***After several years, when she would be in prison, he would not stand it, and after a firm battle with himself, several years, he starts to tape her books that he reads… he is The Reader… the one that brings her to knowledge and helps her to teach herself the art or reading and writing…
But as 20 years standing in a jail, locked up from the world, separates and alienates one, the only one that Hannah clings to now is Michael… and he is afraid of seeing her/talking to her, even holding her hand… Seeing each other after 20 years is quite a shock for both but they both recognize each other. You can see the love and the suffering in Hannah’s eyes when he rejects her hand eventually… Her committing suicide can be perceived as an act of love… of letting Michael free of his demons… his most inner demons… telling him that she understands him and that she is sorry of what has happened also during the Holocaust.
***Hannah is a very powerful character although many would chastise her for the way she died. You can also remember the scene when she sees that Michael changed and she decides it best to leave him, as they have no future together… She truly loves Berg, although – in the beginning of the book/movie – she tells us that she is in love with no one…
The mature Michael Berg is played by our own handsome British actor: Ralph Fiennes :)
***BTW, don’t you think that the scene above brings memories from the movie “Onegin” – the duel scene with Vladimir? :) I do really think so, it made me remember the whole thing :)
***Anyway, Ralph Fiennes is a great reader and the way his voice changes during the setting of a play is truly beautiful! One has no words to describe it. His talent is truly great :)
***Oh… well… that’s about it :)
***Gonna take a little trip down to memory lane listening to some music… “Amelie” soundtrack
***Maybe I shall tell you about Amelie later on as she is quite a fine girl ;) You will like her a lot!
Au revoir, mes amis!
Bisous, The LadyBug :*