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The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist (2002)



Adrien Brody

Thomas Kretschmann

Frank Finlay

Maureen Lipman

Emilia Fox


Directed by Roman Polanski


The Pianist is one of the best films you will ever see. It is highly regarded as one of the best works of Roman Polanski and one of the best war movies you should see, this is something I totally agree. The movie is a true artwork, a masterpiece drawn from the autobiographical book The Pianist (1946). The book is a Holocaust memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. Szpilman survived the Holocaust.

The art of directing reached its peak in this movie, and I believe Polanski deserved every award and praise for his work here. The way the movie takes you through the challenges of one man who just wanted to survive. All his hope of survival is tied to a series of good luck from non-Jews who could have turned their back on him, at any time – but instead helped him through his trials.

What I totally admired about this film is the depiction of the character (Szpilman played by Adrien Brody), he was no hero (in the sense of leading an armed revolt) or carried a gun to shoot anyone. He lost everything and everyone he loved, had it all taken from him, while he spent years moving from place to place hiding and just trying to survive.

The movie starts with Szpilman a Polish-Jewish pianist, playing the piano at a local Polish radio station when their station was attacked during the German invasion of September 1939.

We see him head home to his family as they all gathered and rejoiced to hear that England and France have declared war on Germany for their invasion of Poland. Their hope was soon dashed when they realise that help was not coming and Germany has taken over Poland and was hell bent on wiping out the Jews.

The family stuck together and did the best they could to survive, when they were about to be transported to Treblinka extermination camp as part of Operation Reinhard. A friend sees Szpilman and separates him from his family. If you have read about the Holocaust, you will come across the Operation Reinhard, and know how lucky Szpilman was to be separated from his family.

Things did not go great for him from then on, numerous incidents had him escape death by just a hair.

One thing is certain, war is not something anyone wants to live through. In this 2021 during this raging covid pandemic there are still war-torn regions. When I read about the war devasted zones like in Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, I just wonder how the people are surviving and why are such things happening. I am fortunate and grateful that I am not witnessing or have ever witnessed a war. I do hope in the future I never do.

The Pianist premiered won (at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival,) the Palme d'Or. The world also saw the fantastic work of Ronald Harwood screenplay and the movie was both a critical and commercial success.

At the Academy Awards, the film won for Best Director (Polanski), Best Adapted Screenplay (Harwood) and Best Actor (Brody). At the BAFTAs it won Best Film and Best Direction.

If like me you delayed to see this movie, I advise you squash that delay and see it now.


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