March 11, 2012

What will be made of ‘The Book Thief’?

Don’t you love it when you read a book that’s a real page-turner – you become completely engrossed in the characters and the story and you think, this would be great as a movie – and then you hear, it is being made into a movie!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a fantastic book – set in Nazi Germany during Hitler’s reign, it follows the path of a young girl, Liesel Meminger, as she is abandoned by her mother, witnesses her brother’s death, and is placed in the care of a foster family.

The characters are unconventional, yet endearing; the story is tragic, yet desperately heartfelt; and the story is told from a wholly unique perspective that I expect will be difficult for filmmakers to translate from the page to the screen.

You see, The Book Thief is narrated by ‘Death’ – an all-seeing, all-knowing character that has his hands full in Nazi Germany. Death takes a particular interest in Liesel Meminger, and provides a close commentary on all of her plights and endeavours.

Downton Abbey director Brian Percival will be at the helm of the adaptation – it will be interesting to see what he makes of Death… Will he take the tried and tested route of a cloaked spectral being, hovering over a quivering Liesel with a pointing, skeletal hand?

And who will land the plumb role of Liesel? She is nine-years-old when the story kicks off, and the young actress will need to convey some very heavy emotional material that would even be a challenge for Meryl Street.

Definitely an adaptation to watch.

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