Saturday, January 31, 2009

How Do I Spell Depressing: T-H-E R-E-A-D-E-R

I have not posted about many movies here on Besotted Bookworm but I saw a movie last weekend called “The Reader.” Given that I write a blog about reading I thought this would be a good movie to comment on. Let me first share with you the story of how I got to go see “The Reader.” Please note I will be giving away some plot details so if you want to see the movie stop reading now.
My girlfriend Debbie and I had decided to get together and go to the movies. After looking at a list of movies we narrowed it down to “Defiance” starring Daniel Craig, a WWII movie:
Four Jewish brothers must escape Nazi-occupied Poland in this WWII drama directed by Edward Zwick, based on a true story. After fleeing to a remote forest, the brothers join the ranks of the Russian resistance fighters, who took up arms to help set other Jews free from the Nazi regime of imprisonment, torture, and murder. (synopsis from
and “The Reader” starring Kate Winslet an erotic thriller set in post WWII Germany:
Director Stephen Daldry (The Hours) helms this adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's best-selling novel in this tale of a man's (Ralph Fiennes) sexual encounters with a woman (Kate Winslet) in post-World War II Germany. - (synopsis from
Violent war movie vs. sexual thriller, of course I picked “The Reader”. Wouldn’t you?
Mistake. Big Mistake.
“The Reader” was a well made movie. Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and David Kross were phenomenal and yes the 1st half of the movie was every 15 year old boy’s favorite kind of dream. Kate Winslet is a 30 something woman who conducts a wild affair with a 15 yr old boy. She is illiterate and has him read to her whenever they are together, often times before proceeding to the sex Then the movie took a very tragic, and weird twist. Later when the young man is in college studying to be a lawyer he attends a huge court case that turns out to have her as one of the defendents who were former SS guards at Auschwitz. She and six other female guards are charged and prosecuted for the burning deaths of 300 prisoners they left locked in a church that burned to the ground. Because she is illiterate and unsympathetic she ends up getting the worst verdict of life in prison. He is devastated by the verdict especially when he realizes she is wrongly convicted because she won’t admit she can’t read. Several years later after he is now a successful lawyer, divorced with a college age daughter he begins sending her recordings of the books she loved to listen to along with new titles. She actually learns to read by following along with him in books she gets from the prison library. Are you thinking justice or a happy ending are on the way. You would be wrong, very wrong. Twenty years after the verdict she is to be released from prison. They contact him since he is the only person to ever communicate with her to help her make the transition from prison life to society. All is set but then she hangs herself! What! Huh! NOOOO!! Talk about depressing! I wanted to do harm to myself after watching that! Instead I went immediately to the Tikki Room and had two Magheritas.
DANG, I should have gone to the war movie.


Jaime said...

Holy Shmoly. I just watched The Reader and felt utterly depressed myself; I went online to mentally decompress - phew! That was cathartic. Thank you Besotted Bookworm.

Mame Burkett said...

You are most welcome Jaime. I hope you visit again soon for happier tales.