Director Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader” is powerful in its secrets. The story is woven in twists that bring you to a truth that hammers home.
The words on the page take on a new meaning as the reality of Hanna Schmitz’s early life is revealed. Kate Winslet’s work as the war criminal is a work of art. One can feel for the woman and yet there is a wall drawn that prevents the viewer from truly knowing her. The wall of her shame, not from the crimes she and other guards committed but a more internal shame.
The truth could set one free and yet the truth at times can be the prison one makes for themselves.
When asked in later years if Hanna learned anything from the past her reply is one that is a truth of life.
It doesn’t matter what I feel
It doesn’t matter what I think
The dead are still dead.
The past is the past.
Michael Berg, a young man in love and then a law student watching his former lover on trial is played convincingly by David Kross. His eyes say much more than the words spoken.
The adult Berg, played skillfully by Ralph Fiennes shows how life lived in silence and secrets brings pain.
This is a must see movie. It will tear at your heart but the message is too powerful to miss.