‘Oskar Schindler, they say. Everyone remembers him’
Schindler’s List is a powerful Spielberg film and true story about a doctor called Oskar Shindler (Liam Neeson) who saves over one thousand Jews from being gassed and killed at the infamous Auchwitz concentration camp in Poland in World War II. On the other side, there is the evil Nazi Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) who lacks sympathy for anyone.
I watched this a long time ago and I only started watching it all the way through recently with my older sister as we discussed the camera angles. Ralph Fiennes stood out as an actor and a character as he reminded me of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds and vice versa. Fiennes’ prescense, that evil look and knowing that he did not care if he shot down a whole crowd of innocent Jewish people, no matter what age or gender they were. He was also very aware of his authority and acted on that as well. However, he deserved his consequences in the end and I’ll have to save the Hans Landa/Goeth comparison for another time.
Anyway, this movie is one of those movies where you would need your full attention span, patience and your analytical brain on. It is also one of the ones that can change your life forever. I cannot watch a film anymore without pointing out the effective closeups, over the shoulder shots, POV shots etc, all of which I learnt at college but you would notice that Shindler’s appearances are shown through closeups, mostly of his face and hands.
There’s a great deal of contrasts between Shindler and Goeth. Shindler gave up his life and sanity to save all the Jews, while Goeth killed them all and didn’t care. Shindler often showed off his masculine side but there was something very feminine about Goeth despite being one of the toughest movie villians in history. Although Shindler did go off with a fair few women, he had never beaten them, unlike Goeth, but he did abandon them. It was also nice that Oskar was remembered and known long after his death, and the confrontation scenes between Goeth and Oskar are shot in the over the shoulder camera angle. Anyone can do a film about a man who has a list of names, but the fact that it was directed by Speilberg, heavy on the propaganda and approachable on so many levels makes it a fantastic movie.
Another actor to praise for this movie is Ben Kingsley, who was so brilliant as his character in this movie, as he is with all the other films that I’ve seen him in. Watching this movie has inspired me to read the original book and find out the backstory that they had no time for in the film.
Overall; fantastic cinematography, an epic soundtrack, amazing cast, to also include Embeth Davidtz, great symbolism and brilliant performances from Ralph Fiennes (who was either nominated or won an Oscar for his role as Goeth), Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.