Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Retro Review: Schindler's List (1993)

                             On Many 'Lists' Of The Greatest Movies Ever Made And Rightfully So

                     When I just watched Schindler's List for the first time, by the time it was over, I remember getting very emotional because this is a rare movie that really makes you feel grateful for the decent and good-hearted people in this world, and it is a film that showcases the story of a man who did the unthinkable to save the lives of many Jews during the time of the Holocaust.

                    Schindler's List is about a greedy German businessman named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a member of the Nazi party, who turns his factory into a refuge for Jews during the Holocaust once he witnesses many Jews being massacred by Nazis and begins to learn the errors of his ways. He then gains the trust of a sadistic SS officer named Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) who runs a concentration camp that has many Jews that Schindler tries to take under his wing by writing down a list of their many names, which could save their lives.

                   What I Liked About It:
                  Where do I begin here? First off, I loved the masterful direction from Mr. Steven Spielberg. I liked how he made the film in black-and-white because to me, it represents the grimness of the Holocaust and I especially liked the scene where we see the girl in the red coat, which is very symbolic as it represents the bloodshed that was occurring at that time, and because the girl is walking innocently while everyone around her is dying, I feel that represents innocence and a possible hope for the Jewish people, that maybe they can be as free as that little girl. Spielberg won the Oscar for Best Director for his direction of this film and I am certainly glad he did.

                  Another thing that I liked was the performances. Liam Neeson gives his greatest performance to date in this as Oskar Schindler. I do like watching movies where Liam Neeson kicks butt, but his performances in those will never top this, as he brilliantly portrays a man who starts off very greedy and self-centered and becomes a landmark hero once he recognizes the horrific slaughtering of the Jews. Ralph Fiennes is also fantastic as Amon Goeth, who is the antithesis of Oskar Schindler: He is a sociopath who enjoys killing Jews for sport and is very haunting because he is very unpredictable. Ben Kingsley is also very good as Itzhak Stern, Schindler's Jewish business partner.

                 What I Didn't Like About It:

                Overall, Schindler's List is a masterful tale that is not only the greatest movie about the Holocaust ever made, but one of the greatest movies that I have ever seen. Period. It is a movie that is at times difficult to watch, but it tells us the story of a man who poured away all his money just to save the lives of 1,100 Jews. It is movies like this that make us grateful that there are some decent people in this world, and what is amazing about Oskar Schindler was that he was a real person who took a stand and realized that what his people were doing was cruel and wrong. Schindler's List is a film that works as a piece of art, a realistic portrayal of the horrors of the Holocaust, and a film that makes us grateful for people who are willing to put themselves at risk to save the lives of others. In this case, Schindler saved many, and may he rest in peace.

Rating: 5/5