★★★★★ – “A truly terrifying picture.”
Schindler’s List is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle and Embeth Davidtz.
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.
Steven Spielberg’s horrifically harrowing Schindler’s List isn’t just a critically acclaimed, award-winning masterpiece. This is a documentary of real life events, a truly terrifying picture which chronicles The Holocaust, within the most destructive period of our time. A time that must never be repeated. Captured masterfully in black-and-white celluloid with handheld cameras, Schindler’s List follows Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German industrialist who begins to feel concerned for his Jewish workforce, leading to an emotionally captivating story that evolves continuously as Steven Zaillian’s beautiful screenplay culminates to one of Schindler’s final heartbreaking lines: “I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don’t know. If I’d just… I could have got more.”
Liam Neeson showcases a raw talent as Schindler, performing skilfully throughout. Every line is delivered with absolute care and feels entirely realistic. His interactions with Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) are some of the greater scenes in the film, most specifically the creation of the list. Kingsley has always proved himself an incredible supporting act. Ralph Fiennes also plays alongside Neeson as Amon Goeth, a ruthless and negligent SS captain who murders for sport. Eventually, Goeth is told that power is in fact to never kill, but pardon a man. It never truly connects with him, but continues his work with it in mind. This is one of Fiennes’ greatest, most pre-eminent performances to date.
The decision to shoot the film in black-and-white only catapults the ‘documentary tone’ that Spielberg sets out to achieve, and in doing so creates an eerie experience for viewers. There’s one scene in particular that uses colour for a little girl’s red coat, as she stumbles through a disturbing site of bloody murder whilst Schindler keeps a close eye. This scene essentially serves as the brutal realisation for Schindler, and becomes one of the most iconic scenes in film history. A simply breathtaking use of colour within a black-and-white picture. Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski expresses his enduring adroitness with excellent execution.
John Williams’ haunting score captures the horrors of war as violinist Itzhak Perlman performs every single note with intricate skill. The main theme is pleasing to the ears but when paired with Spielberg’s picture, it’s painfully distressing, traumatic, even disturbing. ‘Jewish Town’ continues that same feeling, but explores Williams & Perlman’s impeccable talent further. This is a fine example of the perfect film score.
Verdict; It may be a tough subject and a difficult experience to bear, but Schindler’s List is a film to be seen by all.
Schindler’s List – ★★★★★ (9/10)