Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Reader (2008) or How Some 16 Year Old Boned A Hot Older Woman and Chose Not To Brag About It

Yeah, you can see the guy’s penis. Grow up will you. If it’s not standing up, it’s considered art and not porn.
And that shouldn’t be your main concern.  Your main concern should be the fact that the boy is reading from a non-existent book.

Okay, what can I say about the reader that hasn’t already been said by a vast number of critics and bloggers.

Well, I can talk about how I almost cried and how I threw an ashtray at the TV screen (yes, I got a DVD screener and don't ask me how I got it).

Stephen Daldry directed this movie, along with The Hours(2002) and Billy Elliot (2000).  Well, you could certainly see elements of those two movies coming together here, a scraggly young ladd and discontented women with lesbian impulse.

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I can only comment in the great story telling and the way Kate Winslet grips you through this entire movie.  Without spoiling anything, she tenaciously holds a shameful secret that she never divulges, even if it means going to prison for life.  It got annoying at one point. Okay fine, you are going to know anyways, its not going to ruin the experience.  She is illiterate and deathly ashamed of it. I didn’t give anything away—it’s in the title! But the screenwriter hints at it so brilliantly—he doesn’t have the characters weep, “Oh my god! It’s true! I am a moron who cant read! Please give my character some emotional investment.”

And about the ashtray.  I wanted to throw it at the kid character who bones the character Winslet’s playing, Hannah Schmitz. This kid, has a chance for redemption and a chance to save Hannah Schmitz’s life.  He continually dodges this chance and grows into an balding, guilt ridden Ralph Fiennes.  This kid chose to ignore helping someone because of his own fears and I kept hating and hating him throughout the movie.

Yet at the end, I was the one who was tricked. This kid evoked all sorts of emotions from me. I really felt as if I shared his experience. It also got me to question, if I were in his shoes, would I have been so noble or would I have procrastinated at the chance of helping out someone?

The characters are really human in this film.

What did I, for one, learn and get from this movie? Well, people can probably get their money’s worth—Kate Winslet is naked nearly through the first hour (or at least it seemed like it).

Oh, soul wise? Hmm…

I learned that I should not take this ability to read and write for granted.  Within this most basic of skill lies the key to a world of books and long distance communication.

What I take with me after watching The Reader: I can only be so lucky to be literate and to live in a community where I, nor my neighbors, are being sent to concentration camps.

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