The movie, “The Book Thief,” is a captivating, heart-wrenching, and at times humorous story that keeps your eyes glued to the screen. After all, when Death tells a story, it’s hard not to listen.
The story is set in Nazi Germany during World War II. Death, an oddly appropriate narrator, tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who finds her own way to deal with the loss of the ones she loves. She becomes a book thief. At her brother’s burial, she steals her first book. At the time, she does not even know how to read. Separated from her family, Liesel moves in with her foster parents. Her new family consists of Rosa Huberman, her “thunderstorm” mom who is always rumbling, and Hans Huberman, her dad who introduces her to the joy of reading. Once Liesel finally get used to her new life, Max Vandenburg comes along to change everything once more. Max is a Jewish man who is seeking refuge in the family’s basement from Hitler’s reign of terror. This secret could mean death for the entire family.
This movie is appropriately rated PG-13. Although there is not much violence or bloodshed, the movie has very intense concepts. For example, death is always present and the characters live with fear as part of their daily lives. Yet, there are several moments of laugh out loud humor mixed in with the intensity.
You do not have to read the book to understand and enjoy the movie. You just have to be prepared to experience many different emotions in the span of two hours. You will leave feeling like you just rode a roller coaster ride of emotions, glad that you took the ride, but still a little bit shook up from it.