I must say, I found myself loving both the book and the movie almost equally, though there were slight differences. But of course, the movie might seem a bit more touching as we see what happens, instead of just reading it.
Something I noticed very fast as I read the book, was that the swing had a much bigger role in the movie than in the book. In the book, it was there in one scene, where he made it, but I don’t think it was ever mentioned again. While in the movie, Bruno plays with it more often, and uses it as an excuse as he sets out to the camp to meet Shmuel. I guess I somewhat found this ironic…
The first scene where Bruno got to know that they were going to move was slightly different. And so was the ending. I think I liked the ending in the movie better than the book’s. For in the book, the disappearance of Bruno was left kind of open towards the family, even though it was hinted that the father got an idea of what had happened. While in the movie, I believe the family understood that he had gone into the camp and most likely gotten killed as the soldiers did so to the Jews from time to time. Guess the idea that the family at least knew what had happened to Bruno, somewhat made the ending less sad. But of course, a sad ending is a sad ending.
As I’ve noticed from other experiences, the movie often seems more rushed than the book. That goes for “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” as well. As I had seen the movie first, I remembered that it didn’t take so long before we met Shmuel. While in the book, it almost took forever.
The book was well written as we saw the story through Bruno’s eyes, and the author did well in imitating a 9-year-old boy’s mind. Bruno’s thoughts were clearly written in the book, while in the movie we had to guess them through his actions. Which I think went well.
And even though the story is fiction, I think it did well in showing how cruel the holocaust was. And as we saw it through the innocent eyes of Bruno who didn’t understand much, it kind of got even crueler. I think the story is beautiful, in both movie and book, even though it doesn’t have the happy ending probably most of us hoped it had.