The Pianist (2002) – Encore Review


“They all want to be better Nazis than Hitler.” – Wladyslaw Szpilman

Number of Times Seen – at least 4 times (5 Mar 2003 in the Theater, DVD, 8 Aug 2013 and 1 Mar 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story about how a Polish pianist living in Warsaw during World War II did all he could to survive the atrocities of the War.

My Take on it – This is an extremely powerful film that is not easy to watch, yet is an essential movie because of the way that it so realistically and brutally depicts the events of what happened in Warsaw during World War II.

Director Roman Polanski pulls no punches as he shows the senseless and random violence and brutality of the Nazi’s and their collaborators who thrived on causing humiliation and then death for anyone that they deemed it fit for.

Adrien Brody is superb in the title role and he was quite deserving of winning a Best Actor Oscar for this role because we can see both his physical and mental transformations as things move along into some very dark places of human despair.

The film has spectacular visuals and they allow the viewer to get a unique perspective on things as the camera ends up showing tings via a broken window pane of a crack in the wall.

It gives us a brutally honest depiction of the violence where we can see it from an intimate and personal place which adds so much to the story.

This isn’t an easy film to watch but that is part of the beauty of it all because it does all that it can to be as realistic as it can be in order to properly represents the events as they were which in turn helps make this film so powerful and poignant in all that it shows.

Polanksi very deservingly won an Oscar for Best Director for his work here and it’s quite a shame that this film lost Best Picture to Chicago (2002).

This is one of the most powerful Holocaust films ever made and it reverberates in one’s head for a long time after the credits roll.

Bottom Line – Amazing Holocaust film that is brutally honest in the way it shows the horrors of that time. Polanski pulls no punches and allows us to see the baseless hate and cruel nature of the Nazis as they randomly caused humiliation and death for little reasons.  Brody is superb in the title role and we can see his character’s transformation both physically and mentally throughout the film. He was quite deserving of winning an Oscar for Best Actor for his work here. The visuals of this film are spectacular to watch and Polanski is able to bring it all together so well. There are shots via broken window panes or through a crack in the wall and they allow such a unique perspective on all that happened despite the brutality of it all. This is a story that isn’t easy to take in, but that is part of the beauty of it because it does its best to be able to represent what truly happened and that in turn makes it so much more powerful and poignant in its storytelling.  Polanski deservingly won an Oscar for Best Director but this film wasn’t able to beat Chicago (2002) as the best film that year.  One of the very best Holocaust films ever made.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director Roman Polanski considers this his best film. At the end of the documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011), interviewer Andrew Braunsberg asks him which of his own films he believes to be absolutely perfect, and wouldn’t change a frame if he could. To this, Polanski replies: “If any film cannisters were to be placed on my grave, I’d like them to be The Pianist’s”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “The Pianist (2002) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: MovieRob Monthy Roundup – March 2020 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2002 | MovieRob

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