I wasn’t sure what I expected this movie to be about–I knew it was about love and books; possibly about the love of books. I knew it took place in Germany during World War II. That’s all I knew. I certainly wasn’t expecting the movie to turn out the way it did!
The beginning of the movie was both awkward and touching–it was exactly what new, inexperienced love is. I also liked the secret the woman hides during their affair. It’s so easy for the audience to see that the woman can’t read, but the main character doesn’t see it? At least not while they’re intimately together. I thought that was great. The second half of the movie was when it got serious and unpredictable.
The woman never redeems herself and I don’t think the main character is faultless either. He teaches her to read but drives her to commit suicide? He’s a flawed human, just as she is, though not nearly as great a mistake is made on his part.
All in all, I thought the movie was wonderful, but too long. Also, for anyone who wants to see this film with family, be warned–there is full-frontal male nudity several times during the film (not to mention lots of boobage). I recommend this one to you, though feel free to fast forward through some long middle bits.