'The Book Thief': Finding beauty even in the ugliest of circumstances.’
(The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2014 - 3:16pm

MANILA, Philippines- Reading can change the way a person sees the world. That is what the movie “The Book Thief” is about.

At a time  when Hitler is taking over Germany and fear rules the country, a girl named Liesel, played by Sophie Nélisse, takes refuge in reading books  and sees life in a bigger and better perspective.

Though struggling in reading the books she “steals” to build her own collection, her foster father Hans helps her. She even finds a new friend, Max, who is staying in their house’s basement.

Geoffrey Rush can’t help but admire his character Hans, who has encouraged Liesel to pursue her love for books.

“Hans can read in Liesel that she’s been through very difficult times and he tries to find ways to draw her out,” he explains. “Hans responds to the glimmer of energy Liesel has buried inside her and helps bring it to the surface.

“She starts to love language and words for the hidden powers they have, instead of the poisonous oratory and rhetoric surrounding them.  Liesel finds an escape – a spiritual retreat in the magic of language.”

Meanwhile, Emily Watson who plays the character of Rosa, Hans’ wife, says her role may be “harsh” especially for a foster parent. But there’s a reason behind the “cold-heart” image of the lady.

“I think Rosa was young and beautiful once, and probably more soft-spoken, but the times have changed her,” she adds.

“She seems like she’s angry and disappointed about pretty much everything in her life including her husband, with whom she’s at best dismissive, at times.  But their love for each other is still evident.”

Each character portrays different characteristics that wouldn’t be easily understood by all. But above all, the author of the book, Markus Zusak, says that both the film and book  are about “finding beauty in even the ugliest of circumstances.

“One of the central themes of the story is that Hitler is destroying people with his words, and Liesel is stealing back the words, and she’s writing her own story with them.”

“The Book Thief” will be in cinemas on February 19.

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