Write descriptive essay about The Pianist movie 2002, write an essay of at least 500 words on The Pianist, 5 paragraph essay on The Pianist, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
The Pianist
UK, Germany, France, Poland
Drama, Biography, History, War
IMDB rating:
Roman Polanski
Adrien Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman
Thomas Kretschmann as Captain Wilm Hosenfeld
Frank Finlay as Father
Maureen Lipman as Mother
Emilia Fox as Dorota
Ed Stoppard as Henryk
Julia Rayner as Regina
Wanja Mues as SS Slapping Father
Richard Ridings as Mr. Lipa
Nomi Sharron as Feather Woman
Anthony Milner as Man Waiting to Cross
Lucy Skeaping as Street Musician
Roddy Skeaping as Street Musician
Ben Harlan as Street Musician
Storyline: A brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, witnesses the restrictions Nazis place on Jews in the Polish capital, from restricted access to the building of the Warsaw ghetto. As his family is rounded up to be shipped off to the Nazi labor camps, he escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw.
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To hell and back.
The Pianist is an incredible film in many aspects. Roman Polanski's account of the survival of the pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman, is a document about how one man can overcome the worst possible situations in a world gone completely mad around him.

The only fault one can find with the adaptation of Mr. Szpilman's story by playwright Ronald Harwood, is the fact that we never get to know the real Wladyslaw Szpilman, the man, as some of the comments made to this forum also have indicated.

There is a very interesting point raised by the the pianist's father who upon reading something in the paper, comments about how the Americans have forgotten them. Well, not only the Americans, but the rest of the world would not raise a finger to do anything for the people that were being imprisoned and made to live in the confined area of Warsaw. The exterminating camps will come later.

What is amazing in the film, is the frankness in which director Polanski portrays the duplicity of some Jews in the ghetto. The fact that Jews were used to control other Jews is mind boggling, but it was a fact, and it's treated here matter of factly. Had this been made by an American director, this aspect would have never surfaced at all. Yet, Mr. Polanski and Mr. Harewood show us that all was not as noble and dignified as some other films have treated this ugly side of war.

Wladyslaw Szpilman, as played by Adrien Brody, is puzzling sometimes, in that we never get to know what's in his mind. He's a man intent in not dying, but he's not a fighter. He accepts the kindness extended to him. He never offers to do anything other than keep on hiding, which is a human instinct. He will never fight side by side with the real heroes of the ghetto uprising. His role is simply to witness the battle from his vantage point in one of the safe houses across the street from where the action takes place.

Adrien Brody is an interesting actor to watch. As the pianist of the story he exudes intelligence. There is a scene where Szpilman, in one of the safe houses he is taken, discovers an upright piano. One can see the music in his head and he can't contain himself in moving his fingers outside the closed instrument playing the glorious music from which he can only imagine what it will sound in his mind.

The supporting cast is excellent. Frank Findlay, a magnificent English actor is the father of the pianist and Maureen Lipman, another veteran of the stage, plays the mother with refined dignity.

In watching this film one can only shudder at the thought of another conflict that is currently brewing in front of our eyes. We wonder if the leaders of the different factions could be made to sit through a showing of The Pianist to make them realize that war is hell.

My rating: 9
The piano which is my favorite musical instrument. After is the violin and the sax. Which is second I can not say. Music – a form of freedom, playing music – of liberation, composing music – special case of the creationist providence.

Away from the fact that I saw this movie long time ago I probably will never forget it. A chased piano player in the contrast of the war and the ruined buildings is an image of contradiction which dives in the mind and lay there for a a very long time. The only one ability of man to succeed in expressing and protecting him is something very special. And what if the circumstances are force marjorie? Is it creativity the only one string deep in us that love is pulling to sing its humble messages?

Really wonderful movie but not for everyone. It shows human survival which is threatened by man an believing in only one thing when everything around is falling apart. It shows how when we walk in the right direction there is always a new way.

Less 'cinematic' yet more affecting than "Schindler's List" ...
To think that I avoided "The Pianist" for about 10 years because I expected a new "Schindler's List"! And I don't even mean that negatively.

I've watched Spielberg's film several times and know too well how painful Holocaust movies are, and while "Life is Beautiful" was a tragicomic fable and "Sophie's Choice" more of a character study relating a traumatic experience, I knew "The Pianist" would be on the same level of ambition and seriousness than Spielberg's film, if only because it was directed by Roman Polanski, a Holocaust survivor himself. I knew the movie would feature shocking arbitrary executions and poignant separations, so in a way, "The Pianist" was already having an impact on me without watching it. But this is not the only reason why I didn't feel the urge to watch it.

Part of the blame is to be put on the film itself although it was inevitably going to be compared with its 'glorious' predecessor. Speaking of my own experience, I was mislead by "The Pianist" and the movie trailers. I thought it was the story of a man who played music for the Nazis and his survival, and therefore found in the present's horror and gloominess a heaven of escapism in the inner, universal and timeless beauty of music. Wladislaw would have the state of mind of one of Schindler's factory workers with music as the same weapon as Guido's humor and optimism in "Life is Beautiful". Of course, I realize now how my preconceived ideas totally underestimated Roman Polanski and I hope this review redeems my 10 years of abstinence.

First, one must give to Spielberg what is Spielberg's and to Polanski what is Polanski's. "Schindler's List" is a better directed film but "The Pianist" is a better told story. And while the directing of Spielberg betrays sometimes the harshness of its subject by too much 'mise en scene', Polanski's ability to hook our hearts to the fate of Wladislaw Spillman, magnificently portrayed by Adrien Brody, and his family is beyond words. Indeed, we feel like part of this family. While the epic scope of "Schindler's List" provided a sort of moral aura to the victims, making the film a martyrdom's remembrance, "The Pianist" is simply the chronicles of a banal horror. And Polanski keeps an intimate, almost unnoticeable directing, to better convey the feeling that we're watching normal people whose lives are dramatically affected by an absurd War, and it's their very normality that emphasizes the cruelty of the Nazi treatment.

The film opens in Warsaw in September 1939 so those with a minimum of historical knowledge understand the implication. Wladislaw is playing Chopin in a studio when the first German bombings are heard, his family wants to leave but later, they learn in the radio that France and Britain entered the War. Relieved, they celebrate the news with a toast, and the relatively cheerful ambiance contrasts with the usual demonstrations of grief and pain. Of course, we know the worst is to come, but Polanski takes his time to get us immersed in the war's ambiance and letting us observe the progressive decline of the Spillmans, directly mirroring the atmosphere that probably prevailed within all the Jewish families.

Through the Spillman's perspectives, we get a more accurate idea of the nightmare endured by Polish Jews. When they're all parked in the Warsaw ghetto, before the inevitable evacuation, we witness gut-wrenching, intolerable, and acts of brutality, so unbelievably gratuitous and horrific, we never doubt that they're based on true stories, and that war, definitely, inspires the worst from humanity. In war, there's no room for dignity, for charity, for understanding, for God I would even say. As for violence, there is no scale, soldiers throwing off a balcony an old grandfather on a wheelchair because he couldn't stand is a horrifying sight, but maybe I expected these kind of moments so much that I was more shocked by the part where the soldiers made people dance together. Sometimes, humiliations are more impacting than random and arbitrary killings.

And again, the talent of Polanski is precisely not to have overplayed on the directing department: no 'Black and White', no special effects, no 'little girl in Red', just basic colors, as to sustain the feeling of a present, more real then more horrific. "Schindler's List" might be a better film for some, but it's still a film, while "The Pianist" is a survival story, raw and real. Not a hero, not a victim either, the main protagonist will sometimes count on his courage, sometimes on his good luck, sometimes on the help of good-hearted and understanding people, from any sides. There is a light of hope in the film, through music, at a time where humanity reached its lowest point, music was here to remind people, to remind Nazis what a waste the War was, a feeling incarnated by Adrien Brody's sad-looking eyes.

Again, don't expect a hero à la Oskar Schindler in Wladislaw, "The Pianist" shows the boldness of a period where cowardice was sometimes guided by survival instinct, where the desire to live could be more necessary than the desire to fight, because surviving left more voices to speak about the atrocities. "The Pianist" reveals those hidden subtleties that couldn't be truly expressed in epic movies. Some Jews didn't fight back precisely because the horrors of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Buchenwald had to be known, and ironically, this was one of the reasons that accelerated the exterminations' process. And some like Wladislaw had to hide not to make the sacrifices of the others unnecessary, those were tough times and no one is allowed to put a judgment... not us, anyway.

And this is why "The Pianist" is more affecting than "Schindler's List", and if one has any doubt, let's not forget, that Spielberg was born in 1946 while Roman Polanski is still a war survivor who lost his mother in a Death Camp.
Epic in every way possible!!!!
this movie touched my heart in every frame.Shows us all what is the real meaning of struggling,surviving and mighty life.wow i sometimes wonder what is that we don't have that makes us unhappy when many out there having nothing and no reason live but still struggles to live.

This movie shows us how barbaric the human race can be and how resilient a human can be.the director of the movie should be given more credits for bringing such a harsh,heart wrenching truth to the screen in manner that touches people across the planet irrespective of race,religion and all other non senses.

Acting,what to speak lead actor totally deserves his Oscar.He makes cry and feel his pain.

Coming to the ending,my word its really beautiful.Man running out to hug an other human after all he went though tells something about life.
Brilliantly Narrated, Visually Stunning!
Polanski has depicted the gory details of the holocaust without much restraint. But, the most wonderful aspect of the film is that the director has not lost focus of his story and instead of focusing too much on the holocaust horror he has weaved the true-life narrative of survival around devillish happenings.

Every single act of escapade Szpilman goes through is depicted like a drop of water on a barren desert. However, the Oasis in the driest desert comes in the end and it is here that Polanski captures the essence of human emotion. I had this very strong urge of jumping into the theater screen and magically adopting a character in the movie and doing something about the helplesness portrayed so convincingly.

Overall, Polanski has given a stunning visual narrative of the cold war. Survival indeed is a privilege though it is taken for granted today. Performances by Brody, Kretschmann deserve applause.

Pawel Edelman's camera work is moving and he has brilliantly captured the dark sadness in the visual canvas in an effective way. The lighting is amazing. Pre-dawn shooting schedule could have helped a great deal.

Hervé de Luze's editing work has ensured that the narrative does not slip away from focus. Most notable is the scene where the human bodies are lit on fire and the camera raises to show the smoke. The darkness of the smoke is enhanced and is used effectively to fade the scene out.

The scene where Brody's fingers move as he rests his hands on the bars of the tram handle only goes to show the brilliance of Polanski as a film-maker.

Great film that will be in the running for this year's Oscars. I will give it a 9 Out of 10.
Hope, miracle, a silhouette
A movie about survive. In dark nuances, with Shoah as scene, in the steps of gorgeous images, a story. A pianist, few miracles and music. A long trip in a large desert. And fear, hope and trust as only protection. It is a biographic piece but it speaks about values. It is a War tall but essence is peace behind reality. And it is a Polanski in which Adrien Brody is brilliant. For the art to discover each color of silent fight. For the strange occasions in which death is expected answer. But the final is a town in ruin, a Nazi officer and a piano. A kind of gift as birth of new time. Precise and not pathetic, harsh and dusty, cruel in a poetic manner, show of a life, it is one precious stone who remembers the respiration of earth and fragility of grass.
My husband and I decided to watch this on netflix one night as we had heard it was good. Neither of us had any expectations and figured if it won a couple of Oscars it must be decent. I had no idea it was an absolute masterpiece.

This may be one of the best movies I have seen to date. Days after I saw this movie I cannot stop visualizing the images and feeling the emotions conveyed in the film. The cinematography is breathtaking. The beauty of pre-devastation Warsaw is sharply contrasted with the bleakness of the ghetto, and it would be understatement to say how haunting the visuals of Warsaw after the bombings were.

The acting here is tremendous. Brody (who I had really not seen in anything else significant prior to this) carries the entire movie on his wan shoulders. He conveys so much with pain, anguish, hope, and loss with just his eyes. It is quite the actor who causes the viewer to feel the pain he is experiencing as a character. This was an extremely well deserved acting Oscar.

This movie is extremely depressing considering the subject matter but it is told and portrayed with grace and power by Polanski. So many scenes are powerful and haunting. To me, in many ways this is a perfect movie. Yes, I know this review is filled with hyperbole, but I simply cannot remember the last time I was so moved and impressed by a film as I was with the Pianist. See it at least once.
Stoic, haunting tale of survival
The Pianist tells the story of such a man in war time Poland, played by Adrien Brody, who from start to finish sees his life literally getting worse and worse and worse- starts off with new rules from the Nazis, then the stars on the arms, followed by the Warsaw ghetto, and while there he could play in the restaurant, that too soon ended, as the trains arrived and took his family and anyone else he knew away. During this he narrowly escapes, and from then on the film in a sense almost becomes not exactly a holocaust film, but more like a cross of that as the element and the basic structure of something a-la in Cast Away: this includes stretches of scenes showing Brody simply trying to keep out of view of the Germans, either in a small apartment provided by helpful Polish Christians/Jewish resistance, or as a scavenger in the abandoned sections of the ghetto, all while feeling the old rhythm of the piano in his head and fingertips.

This is the kind of magnificent filmmaking that shows a director not only being as true to the story given to him (that of Painist Szpilman, based on his autobiography) but to his past as well- Roman Polanksi faced similar conditions as a boy in the early 40's, and has found the best line to show, never crossed or mis-stepped, in representing the characters and the period. There aren't any hints of tightened suspense, no clues as to where the film could veer to, it just is. The big difference to be seen between a film like this and Schindler's List is not just in the people and situations (Schindler's List was a film about two people, Schindler and Goeth, in the foreground while the Pianist is a total first person tale), yet also in the filmmaking qualities being here surely European. And while the accents on the Polish-Jewish actors sounds a bit too British, that is quite forgivable considering the scope of the project (thank heavens he didn't put in English speaking Germans).

In conclusion, Brody turns in a superb performance, and this indeed is in with Polanski's best, a deserved of 2002's Palme D'Or. Great music too. A+
It's an official decree, no Jews allowed in the parks.
I have watched a lot of WWII films, but this is at the top of the list.

Don't take my word for it, it won three Oscars, and should have won Best Picture; it did win Best Picture at the BAFTA awards, along with a Best Director for Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby). This is Polanski's finest film by far.

Adrien Brody was magnificent, and his performance made you feel you were right there with him.

It wasn't a pretty picture, the outstanding cinematography notwithstanding. Bodies lie in the streets, and people just passed them by. People were shot for asking a simple question. A man was so hungry that when his attempt to steal a woman's soup resulted in it falling to the ground, he fell to the ground and lapped it up.

Amidst all the carnage and deprivation, Wladyslaw Szpilman (Brody) managed to survive until the end. An amazing story.
Film and Music, Pain and Fire
Spoilers herein.

Nearly any film is for me a double experience: the watching and the post-coital rumination. That second phase can make the experience worthwhile even when the film itself is ordinary or poorly done.

But it works the other way as well, especially when a film is designed for discussion: the film delivered with so many opinions that themselves are ordinary or poorly done. This film comes so charged. Szpilman wasn't `Jewish enough' to be the center of an important holocaust film, goes the most ordinary and loudest of them. I suppose there are some things about the commingling of descriptive art and definitive life to be said there. But one likes to have more freedom in post-film thoughts and that whole topic is dominated by the sorts of reflexive responses manipulated by film.

There's a second prepackaged topic concerning whether `Schindler' was better or `worse.' I don't consider Spielberg's film a holocaust film at all: he lives in a happy world, where justice and right (and lots of other happy values) always triumph. His observations are always external. His goal is always to tell a story, a stance that furthers the distance between his films and reality. Polanski's project has no story at all, merely a life of accidents. His camera is within the artist's personal space. His own mannerisms are Eastern European and depressed, congruent with what he shows. (Speilberg's Schindler really did have the silk unctuousness of the East, but as observed from California.) So I credit Polanski's vision as having more historical credibility than Speilberg's, knowing that despite the best efforts of us all to avoid having practical history made by the movie marketplace.

(One exception, where Polanksi is offensively theatrical: when Szpliman runs from the destroyed hospital, he faces a street of desolation as far as one can see, `High Noon'-wise.)

Much more interesting to my mind is the portrayal of an artist. Polanski has always been deeply self-referential in his work: always there is an examination of the artist within the art. And I make a minor hobby out of collecting film experiences that do this with music and mathematics because I have some personal experience to work with.

For those who don't know: Poland‘s pride is Chopin, who invented a relationship to the piano that not only defined modernity but reinvented everything about musical performance. (Film would follow this lead in 1941.) Chopin built pieces designed to be bent in performance, designed with empty rooms that a pianist could explore. Unlike, Bach for instance, where the magic of the performance was in attuning to Bach and his intent, the performer of Chopin really could bring his own soul to parity with God. Szpliman was a strong pianist, and therefore more than a national character, instead a reflection of the Polish heart.

Here, we watch this man compromise his own pride, eschew his religion, run away from every opportunity for dignity in order to keep his hands warm to play another day; and not just play, but play on the radio for Poles. So during this painful journey, we assume what we are meant to in films about tortured artists: that the pain we are watching will be transmuted by this man into great art that will lift us all. His own personal denigration - what is done to him and the denigrating choices he makes - are worth it overall.

This is where the fatal pessimism of Polanski stops, because he doesn't let us know the musical truth. This is not Szpilman‘s playing of course, but not much unlike him. Szpilman was a `safe' player, one who never had the strength or desire to add much to Chopin. That's why he was on the radio: his `interpretations' were unchallenging and palatable. But he would never have been considered an artist of note at all if he had not survived the perfect brutality of the Germans, whose own music, though sentimental was constrained in ways that Chopin's never was. The payoff is supposed to be that after his trials, the artist is now - theoretically - capable of expressing the pain and yearning of the world. That we are meant to so think is clear from the end, where he plays with the glow of Dreyfuss from `Music of the Heart.'

Ah, but not so. The sound we actually hear throughout is by Olejniczak, a similarly ordinary man. Szpilman did not in fact come through a better artist, but much worse: a meek pianist. `Shellshocked,' postwar contemporaries would say.

Contrast this with Artur Rubinstein. Jewish Pole of the previous generation, and the first giant to explore Chopin's rubato. He had his own dark nights, but not because the world was inhospitable. Listen to his recordings (freely available) compared to Szpilman‘s (hard to get) or even Olejniczak‘s on the soundtrack. These are two different universes. One is merely pleasant, the other life-altering.

Polanski has made some great films (including the under-appreciated `Ninth Gate'), and his thinking through of the intellectual reach of a project is extensive but he has ultimately let us down here. Implicit in much of modern Jewishness is the triumph of enrichment of the people through their tribulation. Perhaps that is true, but this film undermines the idea when selecting Szpilman as metaphor.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
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