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Movie Review: The Pianist (2002)

added 20 sep 2019
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The Pianist (2002)

Nazi brutality vs the perfection of Chopin

(this review contains spoilers)

This movie was on TV the other night. I was keen to watch it because it is so famous and I hadn't seen it before. In fact, I always avoided Jewish atrocity movies when I was younger because I couldn't bear to watch the inhuman way the Nazis treated the Jews in WW2. I used to find the othering and consequent violence and disrespect just too sad and stupid to devote any of my time to. These days my feelings haven't changed, but I have come to see the value of preserving and retelling the horrible history of the human race - to prevent history from repeating.

The Pianist really emphasises the brutality of the Nazis by contrasting it with the beauty and skill of the Jewish protagonist's piano playing. The Nazis force Jews to walk in the gutter, hit them in public for no reason, conduct ad-hoc firing squads on the street and eventually comit genocide on them. These acts would be despicable enough out of context, but when they are juxtaposed against such beauty then it makes them seem far worse. This was especially true for me as I love Chopin's music - which the protagonist plays so perfectly at various points throughout the story.

added 20 sep 2019
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