8 April 2017 | maricam
Not perfect but good
"The Zookeeper's Wife" is based on the lives of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, during the German occupation of Poland during World War II. I class this movie in the same league as "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" and "It's A Beautiful Life". These are movies which give viewers credit for having a brain as evidenced by a lack of gratuitous violence, blood, gore, and killing.
We don't need to see animals being blown up or girls being raped to know these things happened and were horrible. I don't find graphic images of such things "entertaining" anyway so I appreciated the lack of shock and horror. Instead the writers and director effectively allude to the horror without abusing me, the viewer. Some will say the movie is a sanitized view of WWII and they would be right. But it didn't diminish the impact of the story, which is the entire point of the film.
The story is one of kindness, bravery, and resilience in the face of Nazi evil. It is simply told in a linear fashion. The movie is well filmed and well acted. As entertainment goes it's good. As far as "message", it's as deep as the viewer wants it to be. I found myself thinking, "What would I do in a similar situation?" And if I find myself asking myself that question rather than turning away I call that successful story-telling. A good movie doesn't need to beat up the audience to drive home it's point.
So, mostly I just wanted to provide a review applauding the restraint of the movie maker. For too long I've had little choice in movies I'd want to watch since so many of them feature explosions, gunplay, graphic scenes of murder and rape, gratuitous use of obscenity, profanity, and vulgarity, and rarely give me credit for having any kind of discernment as they beat me over the head with some heavy-handed "message" usually about something with which I completely disagree. "The Zookeeper's Wife" doesn't employ any of these tired, ugly devices. I didn't once feel manipulated. It's not a perfect movie but it was entertaining and left me with plenty to ponder and talk about with others.