- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: PG-13
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Lionsgate/Miramax
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 19, 2011
- List Price: $19.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Based on the bestselling novel by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a touching film about the secret and forbidden friendship between two boys in World War II Germany. It respectfully and intelligently explores the complexities of racism and the denial of atrocities related to World War II.
Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is a young, happy, well-to-do eight-year-old boy living with his family in Berlin in the early days of the war. When his father (David Thewlis; Naked), an SS Commandant is reassigned to oversee a concentration camp, the entire family is relocated to a rural area, away from Bruno’s friends. Lonely, he begins to explore the area behind his new home, where he discovers a strange young boy behind a fence, wearing what he believes to be striped pajamas. Bruno doesn’t know that this new friend of his, Schmuel (John Scanlon) is a Jewish boy imprisoned by the very army his father is serving.
Their friendship flourishes under the watchful eyes of the many military officers, Bruno’s own father, and his mother (Vera Farmiga). It even grows despite the propaganda against the Jews he and his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) have begun to be taught by a new tutor, Gretel’s new militancy, and the shocking revelation of what the camp really is for. But it is a friendship that was doomed from the beginning and it can only end in dire circumstances.
The Boy in Striped Pajamas is a poignant drama that touches you at your very core. It is deftly handled by director Mark Herman and contains two superb performances from David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga with special mention going to the young Asa Butterfield as well.
The almost ethereal look of Striped Pajamas, made to purposely look like something from the past, arrives in a strong Blu-ray edition from Lionsgate/Miramax. The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer looks clean with natural flesh tones, nuanced shadings, and thin grain structure that provides a film-like veneer.
This is an extremely subtle surround soundtrack, provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, too subtle some might say. Obviously the material doesn’t call for anything too aggressive, so something front-heavy is to be expected, however, the surround channels here are very quiet, nearly nonexistent much of the time. At least the dialogue is very clean and natural in tone.
The commentaries and making of special are worthy of sitting through while the deleted scenes, supplied in 1080p, don’t bring much to the story, but are a good offering nevertheless.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Mark Herman and Author John Boyne
- Friendship Beyond the Fence (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:20:31) – The filmmakers and cast discuss the themes of the novel, the film, and bringing it to the screen.
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Comment by Writer/Director Mark Herman and Author John Boyne (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
- Mustn’t Go Near Them
- Moving Out of Berlin
- No One to Play With
- Less Freedom
- Sound from Above
The Definitive Word
Sad, poignant, and gripping, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a masterpiece of human drama. It arrives in a reference quality Blu-ray edition from Lionsgate/Miramax. Highly recommended.
Additional Screen Captures