Last Saturday night after doing the grocery, hubby and I decided to watch The Reader (our second time watching a movie in the movie theatre here in Singapore). I have read the review but not really digging into it. The movie was starred by Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz, Ralph Fiennes as the older Michael Berg, and David Kross as younger Michael Berg. Directed by Stephen Daldry and screen written by David Hare. An outstanding performance by Kate though I’ am not a fan of her. She won the Best Supporting actress in motion picture at the recently concluded Golden Globe Award. It was theatrically released last December 10, 2008 on limited countries and had a box office of $9,661,121. The story was based on the bestselling German novel by Bernard Schlink that revolves on Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) that deals with his personal history and communal past.
The movie unwraps on the post-Word Ward II when ailing 15-year old Michael (David Kross) has fallen ill with scarlet fever and was found by Hanna Schmitz at the front door of her apartment where she was staying and nursed back to health. After weeks of being treated Michael decides to returned back and thank his compassionate caretaker Hanna and then later found himself sexually attracted to the lady which is twice his age and so their secretive passionate relationship started. Hanna would want to be read before they start making love. Enthralled by the, The Odyssey, Huck Finn and The Lady with the Little Dog, but soon their love affair ended after Hanna mysteriously leave Michael. Leaving Michael devastated and broken-hearted, he goes back to his normal life. Eight years after, Michael become a law student and saw again Hanna at the court room where they were attending a Nazi war crime trial. Hanna struggling to defend and protect herself decides to admit the crime that she was not authored after she was asked for a handwritten sample. Because she was wants to hide that she was functionally illiterate and it was known to Michael. She was sentenced for life imprisonment. While Michael (Ralph Fiennes) becomes a lawyer, married, has one child and then divorced. After paying a visit to his hometown he discover his notes and books which he began tape recording the books and sending it to Hanna. Hanna then learned how to read and write and later began sending letter to Michael but he never responded to her letter but continuously sends tape recorded books. Then in 1988 a prison official called him up since Hannah doesn’t have any relatives and that Michael is the only correspondent that she has. He was asked to support and help Hanna returned back to society. He pays visit before Hanna’s released and had a small talk. But the night before her released she hung herself leaving a note and a tea tin for Michael asking him to send the money to the daughter of the Jewish victim Ilana played by Lena Olin. Michael had a meeting with Ilana and told everything that he has with Hanna and giving the money but Ilana refused t received the money but kept the tea tin. Michael suggested to placed it in an organisation that will fight illiteracy placed it under Hanna’s name which Ilana didn’t questioned The film ended at the graveyard of Hanna with his daughter and began telling his secret affair with Hanna.
The film offers a lot to the viewer. The influence and affection shown by Hanna to Michael reminds us that in everything we do or say will have a great impact on the people we relate to. No matter how big or little it is and you may not even notice it but the fact that you have uttered and shown it to the people around you it makes a big difference. We should always be reminded to be careful and sensitive with the people around us. It also bounded on the ground of history and story. One needs not to become a master’s in history to understand the ignorance German people on genocide that was going on during the World Ward II that was symbolically portrayed by Hanna’s role. Another thing that the story was well noted for was the true love given by Michael to Hanna. That despite her being illiterate and what-not he still sincerely loves her until the end of it. A love that should not be put into question with. A love that the foundation was of sexual desires and literature and in his young mind he defines love in an extraordinary way. The movie was regarded as sexual awakening, psychological drama and love obsession.
Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.
~ Jean Luc Picard ~