Day 4 got better.
The Reader is a romantic drama with Kate Winslet playing the lead role Hanna Schmidtz. She won an Oscar for her terrific performance. She was brilliant.
The story is set in the late 1950s post world war 2. A fifteen year old German kid Michael ( David Kross and Ralph Fiennes is the older Michael ) falls in love or rather has an affair with a woman, Hanna who is at least twice his age. They have a physical intimacy as well and Hanna wants Michael read her books each day. Under mysterious circumstances she leaves him one day only to be found in an unfortunate situation – in a courtroom standing trial where Michael, a law student, is an observer. Michael is equally shocked like us. Hanna is an illiterate (not a spoiler because this is a give away ) and out of pride and self dignity she admits to a crime which she never committed in the concentration camps.
Michael is confused. He is the one who could stop her conviction and life sentence but chooses to be silent. Hanna’s illiteracy is her secret. To maintain the secrecy she goes to the extent of admitting to a crime in which she was least involved.
After a few years, Michael starts to send audio cassettes where he reads stories for her. Once her sentence is over, the movie ends making us feel sorry. There is a little sadness but a heavy regret.
I felt this as a complete movie that could get a 9/10. This undoubtedly should be Kate Winslet’s best. She deserved this Oscar. Her character in the movie is that of a woman who doesn’t bend by the rules made by people. Her conscience is solid and there’s no flinching or fluttering when she admits her actions in the concentration camps. She questions the judge back “what would you have done”. A great scene that one.
David Kross and Ralph Fiennes have done justice to their roles. A good background score and cinematography that add more life to the movie.
There’s a good length of nudity. It’s a controversial and delicate relationship that is dealt with a uncompromising ease. It has to be and you cannot simply take that off the script. It would undermine the younger Michael’s turmoil after seeing Hanna back in his life. It leaves a huge scar in his heart that makes normal life so difficult again.
One can debate Michael’s actions or rather the failing to act for Hanna but it’s only human. Michael helping Hanna would have made this some usual fiction. Here he fights his past and conscience. The movie is just great. No negatives.