They Built A Zoo (Film Thoughts: The Zookeeper’s Wife)

large_zookeepers_wife‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ directed by Nick Caro from Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book. It’s the story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who hid Jewish ‘guests’ at their zoo during the war. They had more than three hundred guests during the time and all but two survived.

The film is gorgeous to look at, which makes the difficult scenes depicting the horrors of war more vivid and true.  The scene with Antonina and her animals may be a bit too cutesy, but it helps send the message across. Jessica Chastain is good, but I felt some ofd the scenes were too Oscar bait-y, as if she is begging for some kind of recognition. I found Daniel Bruhl more effective – eerily sexy and at the same time scary, as the Nazi zookeeper from Berlin. There were some confusing parts in the middle here, but the latter parts was poignant and wraps up the film effectively. I wish it had just a little bit more passion – at times it feels very tempered and tame. I find myself still contemplating, after all these years, all the damages the Second World War brought to a lot of people.

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