Movie review–The Zookeeper Wife( mind you, no apostrophe and s)

The movie pick was a choice that ruled against the Bollywood blockbuster on screens-Bahubali.Bahubali means the one with strong arms. Well, the choice to watch a a woman character with strong arms, feet and sentiments was the reason for the choice.

Setting; A private zoo in Warsaw, Poland. The family, ordinary-rich like most Europeans seem to be–effortlessly rich. But the hard work isn’t obvious in the script, it seemed like a cake-walk to run a zoo, leave alone face its imminent troubles and maintainence.Technical comment about the setting–too neat for a zoo surroundings–the hay too new and fresh, the animals too domesticated and understanding, the family that maintains it though too sophisticated in their
mannerisms and lifestyle which could be possible but the kid too protected, almost asthamtic, all indoorsy and suited and booted. It took away from the film the attraction of seeing a family rolling in the mud withe animals, though the scene where the woman, the wife ie, dirties her hand to facilitate the revival of a still-born elephant calf seemed to catch the grit and grind of running a zoo to perfection and the immediate kiss that follows when she throws her dirty arms around her husband and celebrates her efforts which he appreciates wholeheaterdly was the heart of the movie for me.

The Script: Weak in drama, almost afraid to be scandalous, wary to scratch or rub powerful people the wrong way. But nevertheless a very sensitive and brave topic to put on screen.

The Camerawork- Normal, the lighting too bright in frames, especially daylight and the dark hiding places ‘too pleasant and playful’ pens to create pitiful sentiments.

The editing: The climax could have stopped where the bearded official who comes to examine the insects creates a flip in the heart of the audience sensing a hidden presence and or blown off where the young child creates a furore in the empathetic Nazi officer’s mind by dissing hitler in a loud declaration. But it didnt. It went on to highlight the Nazi officer’s reason for empathetic demeanor in being attracted to the zookeper wife which was filmed in a very apathetic way as if to say , ok we will give the heroine more screenspace to emphasize that she is the hero of the movie.

Actors and acting: For me the hero was the Zookeeper’s husband, ie the wife’s gruff voiced and haggard looking husband who worked out the plans and did the dangerous stuff which his wife supported very well with her affable presence that made little children and old harassed men comfortable. Perhaps the script did not do justice to the wife’s zookeeping abilities as more than just pleasant piano playing feats; a few more of those baby elephant revival kind of scenes may have put her on a pedestal.Also the actress’ acting meant that she came across to me as light-weight as hay in her screen presence, as superficial in her attitude and expressions as well; almost negating the hard circumstances they were living under–implying that she was a bit too dumb for her to be featured in the movie’s title.


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