Skip to main content

The Pianist

A harrowing WWII drama based on the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, the Polish pianist who found himself, as a Jew, wrapped up in the invasion of Nazi Germany and depicts not only the terrible hardship that he and his family had to endure but also gives a glimpse into the terrible effect of the day on the whole of the Jewish community and survival in the Warsaw Ghetto. I guess Schindler’s List is noted as one of the most graphic portrayals of the plight of the downtrodden at the time and the terrible things that were done to the Jewish people, but this also allows us a similar insight into how it was on the ground in an often claustrophobic ambience.

Shot in 2002 by Roman Polanski (Oliver Twist, The Ninth Gate, Death and the Maiden, Bitter Moon, Rosemary's Baby) and Starring Adrien Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Houdini (TV), Midnight in Paris), Thomas Kretschmann (Stalingrad, The Saint, Valkyrie, Downfall, U-571), Frank Findlay and Maureen Lipman amongst many others, the film is acted amazingly well by the whole cast. Brody is said to have lost lots of weight in order to demonstrate the horrors of starvation appropriately. The sets are bleak and the prejudice and terrible behaviour of the invaders incredibly demonstrated.

It’s a story of survival and one man’s struggle to get through, to wait in hiding until liberation arrives, fighting for each breath to keep going, not a Boy’s Adventure WWII film which were made by the gallon in the 1960’s and really became Cowboys v Indians, baddies v goodies romps. This is a sad true story which uplifts the mood very little, but rather, gives us food for thought and appreciation that people actually did come out the other side of the terror of the day.

The book by Szpilman on which the film is based is available to purchase at


Popular posts from this blog

Sony Xperia 5 Mk.IV

The evolution of the Xperia range from Sony has been fun, if expensive, to take part in and follow. In my case, particularly, the smaller of the current range - the 5-series. I am already the owner of a 5 Mk.II and although I wasn't able to get my hands on a 5 Mk.III, I thought that a comparison with the former might be a useful way to go on this as I have the II and IV in-hand. Thanks to Sony PR in the UK for sending over this delayed but just-released unit for Phones Show Chat to review, though to cut to the verdict to some degree, I liked it so much that I bought one! I managed to find one second hand, mint, for two-thirds of the new price as the new price is not cheap, £949 in the UK. As to whether it's worth that money, dip in and find out with me. The first thing to be said is that as the line has evolved. It has indeed followed the principles of evolution, small changes and improvements - so much so that the Mk.I, II, III and IV in some ways are difficult to tell apart


Minari is a slow and gentle Lee Isaac Chung film from 2020 about a Korean family who head to the USA in the 70's. We pick up the story ten years on, in the 80's. They arrived in the 70's with grand ideas of a free and prosperous life but soon came down to earth when they work day and night sexing chickens. Dad was not satisfied with this and so hatched(!) a plan to 'better' their situation by moving to the countryside, taking a loan to buy some land and start farming. Things didn't turn out as rosily as they thought though as they ended up with a Static Mobile Home 😎 and still work for someone else sexing chickens whilst he tries to build the farm. They have two kids, one of which is sick with a heart condition and in order to help things financially they get grandma over from Korea to live with them. Tensions rise between the couple as things don't work out as planned and difficulties of their situation (along with various catastrophes) cause much bickerin

Fairphone 4 Review

The Fairphone 4 is a difficult one to review in any traditional way because I think you first have to get past the price issue. What you're paying for, apart from smartphone hardware. The phone (at time of writing) costs £499 (128GB) and £569 (256GB). On paper, you can do much better for specs elsewhere. But hold on! This is an environmentally-friendly phone . A phone which Fairphone wants you to keep for 5+ years. A phone which is made of many recyclable materials. A phone which allows the user to 'upgrade' modular components so as to future-proof it. A phone company that thinks about the planet and not just the usual 2-year turnaround of hardware, much of it ending up in landfill or on ocean beds. The buyer has to work this one out before considering those specs and thinking that they can do better elsewhere for significantly less money. This, of course, assumes that people have the ready-cash to spend and can afford to take a longer-term view - that £500 is at most £100