A Review on Schindler’s List

By: Clinton Barney

12 Oscar Nominations. 7 Oscars won. 3 Golden Globes. 7 BAFTA Film Awards. Countless awards all throughout the world, including Best Foreign Film in Japan and Spain, Best International Film in Germany’s Jupiter Awards, and Film of the Year in London. Even a Grammy.

Courtesy of Filmsite.org

Schindler’s List, released in February 1993, and deals with a man named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who gets his hands involved in the treatment of German and Polish Jews by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and scored by John Williams. It is Rated R.

There’s a reason why this movie won so many awards, because it was truly beautiful and breathtaking. Just after watching the movie once, I knew it was automatically one of my favorite movies.

Everything about this movie is amazing, except for a few minor flaws, and the 3 hour run time. Yes, three hours. I know, but bear with me.

The movie is actually black and white. Even though that may be annoying for some, it makes the movie that much better. It makes the audience feel like they are watching these events actually unfold right in front of them. It also matches the depressing tone of the film.

There are a few splashes of color here and there, which are symbolic for the objects they are coloring. The end of the film is actually in color, making the scene much more touching and memorable.

Another thing that makes this movie memorable is Liam Neeson’s performance as Oskar Schindler. You are unsure of what Oskar’s true motives are, which makes him such a great main character. He can act like the hero at times, and can act as a bit of a villain at others.

Liam Neeson does a great job keeping Schindler’s intentions hidden to the other characters, and to the audience themselves. He is very believable in his character. He is so into character that I had a hard time believing that he was the same guy from the “Taken” movies and “Dark Knight” trilogy.

The antagonists in the film are obviously the Nazis, but the main villain is Amon Goeth, the main SS officer, played by Ralph Fiennes, the guy who also played Voldemort (oops, I mean, He Who Shall Not Be Named) in the Harry Potter franchise.

The movie is rated R for two major reasons: violence and nudity. Director Steven Spielberg goes very deep into details, especially during the scenes in the concentration camps. The gunshots look and feel so real. You can see the how much the bodies of the Jewish people are affected by the conditions of the camps.

Fun fact: Spielberg was given permission to shoot the film on location in Auschwitz, but refused to out of respect, and built a set of his own, identical to the actual camp. This movie is full of interesting trivia, which you should check out on IMDB.

You can feel every emotion in the movie. In the span of three hours, I felt nervous, excited, sorrowful, and even happy at times. Even in the scenes when the Jewish people are being forced in the ghettos and taken out of their homes, you can feel their despair. You truly forget you are watching a Hollywood movie at times. It feels so real, as if you were watching recorded footage or a documentary.

There are a few parts in the movie that are ripped straight out of a documentary, especially the last two minutes. The ending scene is incredibly touching and downright awe inspiring.

Remember me complaining about the three hour long runtime earlier? Despite it sounding like a long movie, it doesn’t feel like it. The first half of the movie did feel slow, partially because everything was still cooking. After the first hour and 45 minutes or so, the movie really picks up and becomes very exciting and attention-grabbing.

As for flaws, I don’t have much. There were a few plot points I didn’t understand, but I know that if I watch it again, I’d get them. To be fair, I stopped paying attention for a few moments to check my phone. Oops.

In general, I loved this movie. There are only a handful of films that have grabbed my attention so intently and made me feel like I was there, and this is one of them. The soundtrack is great. I love the characters and their development. The setting is amazing. Steven Spielberg did not disappoint.

There’s a reason this movie dominated the 1994 Oscars. Don’t worry about the runtime; the three hours go by faster than the Houston Texans’ playoff run. I would say to add “Schindler’s List” on your movie list (get it?).