“If things were easy to find, they wouldn’t be worth finding.” –Thomas Schell
Firstly, I thought the movie was much better than the book, which I understand is not the normal consensus, but in this case, its true. The book was all over the place and written really sporadically, which made it somewhat hard to follow, but the movie was a bit easier to understand and follow.
The story is obviously about an event we know the story of, the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The story is compelling because it shows what came next for a family who lost someone. The portrayal of the mother from Sandra Bullock was amazing and heartbreaking at times, while Tom Hanks was mysterious and interesting in the perfect way. Thomas Horn, who plays Oscar, the young boy, plays the character perfectly. He is wonderfully odd and eccentric.
The book has many different story lines that are repressed in the movie. The story that “the renter” tells about the bombings in Germany is compelling, but is left out of the movie entirely. Also, “the renter” is the one who goes on the trips with Oscar instead of the upstairs neighbor, Mr. Black, that he meets in his searching. Mr. Black was the perfect companion for Oscar but without the adequate time, I can see why it was chosen to use “the renter” as his companion. I think that with movies, eliminating some characters often works out well due to time constraints, but this was a sad choice. Again, I understand it, but I really enjoyed Mr. Black in the book and was sad to see he didn’t make the cut.
Also, the ending. I wrote in my book review about how Oscar’s journeys went no where, but in the movie, there was a small addition to the end of the movie to make it go somewhere. The lack of a “finale” was one thing that upset me about the book some so I was actually glad to see a closing for the journey for Oscar.
Be warned: the movie is a bit slow in the middle. I wouldn’t recommend watching it while laying under a blanket on the couch, this from personal experience. I found myself dozing off because of the slow parts. The whole movie is based on finding the lock that a key goes to, so don’t expect many twists and turns. That being said, the movie is great. A great story told better than the book told it, in my opinion.