The Book Thief - Deaths interest in humans - 3.5 stars

Death of humans and humanisation of Death

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 English Standard Version (ESV)

After watching a film like 'The Book Thief,' passages like 1 Corinthians 15 can seem a bit cliche, but it is the portion of the Bible that seems to encapsulate this film.

The Book Thief is narrated by Death, who tells us the story of Liesel Meminger. She is a ten-years-old, is who being taken to the small town of Molching, just outside of Munich, Germany, to live with foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. In the journey she ends up with the The Grave Digger's Handbook and this begins the connection between her parents, books, friends, Nazis and Death.

I have tried many times to read the book authored by Markus Zusak, but I have failed. All that I have achieved to complete has given us some of the richest characters in modern literature.  

Storyline: 4.5 stars

The storyline flows naturally, more natural than the book, even with the macabre link of Death as the narrator. Travelling through the Leisel's journey of learning to trust, love and read. It is a rare humanisation of the German people during WWII.  The characters complement one another and develop the richness of the story. The weakest component is the rush through to the conclusion.

Visual Effects: 3 stars

It was beautifully stark background of 1940's Germany. The background of the film is a series of browns, greys and snow. When colour is introduced to the film we see it in stark contrast of the villainous Nazis or in the books that are Leisel's lifeblood. 

This is not a film for CGI effects, but the director manages to find beauty cast against a drab background. 

Direction & Acting: 5 stars

Sophie Nélisse is captivating as Leisel, Geoffrey Rush continues his development of great characters and Emily Watson manages to make Rosa beautifully appealing. 
Family component: 2.5 stars

Due to the themes of war and death, this is a film for teen and older viewers.   

God component: 2 stars

A biblical view of God was seen through the words of the Jewish character, Max. He communicates the importance of words, 'Words are life, Liesel. All those pages, they're for you to fill.' Also, during a brief moment where he was able to come out from seclusion and enjoy God's creation of the evening sky. 

Death is humanised as the narrator, but yet desires to know more about humanity. He wonders at how humanity can be so bad and good at the same time. Death is shown to be a neutral character in life and in the film. 

Overall rating: 3.5 stars

This was a good film and fascinating character study. 

Written by Russell W Matthews @ Russelling Reviews