Spoiler Points for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

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Spoiler Points for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) [PG-13] 94 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $14.25
DVD Release Date: Unscheduled (please check back)
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Spoiler Points for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

If you must know the ending before you can convince yourself to go and see this incredible movie, this spoiler is for you.

[note: see the review for the plot details for the beginning of the film]

• Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) after developing a fine friendship with Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is coincidentally brought to Bruno's home to clean the wine glasses as he has small hands. When Bruno spots him working in the dining room, he is so excited to finally see him out from behind the fence. But Bruno will have to wrestle with his conscience as Lieutenant Kotler (Rupert Friend) catches Shmuel eating food off the table which Bruno gave him. Bruno, in a moment of weakness, lies and says the boy stole the food for which the lieutenant then forcibly removes Shmuel from the home. Later, after not seeing Shmuel for days by the fence, he discovers that Shmuel has been beaten within an inch of his life. But of greater concern to Shmuel is that his father is missing after not returning from his work shift.
• Bruno decides that he can help Shmuel find his father, if only he can get inside the camp. It's easy to see he's partly motivated to rectify the harm he caused to Shmuel for lying about the food. They plan for Bruno to return the next day with a shovel to dig under the fence, and Shmuel with a pair of Striped Pajamas so that he can fit in. He balks at the concept of shaving his head as well, so Shmuel brings him a cap.
• Back at home, however, mother (Vera Farmiga) now wise to the camp's true purpose due to a slip up by Lt. Kotler (who's been subsequently transferred to the front lines for this slip but under the guise of failing to report his deserting father), has convinced father (David Thewlis) to send them all to live with her sister far from the camp. She doesn't think it's the best place to raise children. (gulp—how could anyone have thought this was a good idea?)
• Bruno sneaks out again the next day with the shovel. He arrives at the fence, dressed in the Striped Pajamas, and digs under the fence to be with Shmuel. The two boys enter the barracks as Bruno's mother begins to wonder where he is and conduct a full scale search of the house and then the garden.
• Shmuel leads Bruno from spot to spot, and Bruno recognizes the scenes from the propaganda film his father created—in no ways does the camp fit with what he saw on the film through the transom window one evening when his father was showcasing the film for his colleagues.
• As they explore, it grows more and more unlikely they will find Shmuel's papa.
• Back at home, Bruno is no where to be found, but a sandwich he'd promised Shmuel and which fell out as he climbed through a window out of the back house and into the forest was found on the floor. This prompts his father to employ a team of tracking German Shepherds. To find the boy in the woods. They race on following the scent as Bruno and Shmuel are suddenly grouped up with a barrack full of men. They are marched to a locker room and told to disrobe. All the while Shmuel searches frantically for his father. Bruno is not afraid. He's not sure what's going on, but he feels that they will be ok.

• The dogs reach the fence and a pile of Bruno's clothes and a hole dug under the fence. His father puts two and two together and figures out his son has gone in. He freaks out and starts running around the fence to get inside. He's quite some distance, however, from the camp entrance and seems to have no radio to call and alert anyone to the presence of his son in the camp probably naked or wearing obscure clothing. As he races off, Bruno's sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) and his mother arrive at the pile of his clothes.
• Soldiers march the men out of the locker room and into the shower room. Bruno and Shmuel are side-by-side. It is clear they are great friends. Neither shows any sign of being the least bit afraid. As the men are shoved into the shower room packed in so there's not room for a butter knife between them, the guards seal the door. The men begin to panic. What's going on? Why are they in a shower so close they cannot move around to get clean? Above them, Nazi soldiers begin to drop the sodium cyanide into the acid, to create the cyanide gas. The gas is released into the shower room as the men start to scramble for escape. By the fence, Bruno's mother somehow senses the danger for her son. Once in the camp, Bruno's father searches for him high and low never suspecting that he was just put into the gas chamber with the others.
• For the men in the chamber, Bruno, and Shmuel, there is no escape, and everyone in the chamber is put expeditiously to death.
• The film saves us the discovery of the body in the pile of dead bodies surely then found in the chamber as the screen fades to black. We are left to imagine Bruno's father's and mother's grief, ponder the sick feeling that children should never have to pay the price for the sins of their fathers, and wonder if, after the discovery of his son in the pile, he would ever be able to forgive himself for what he has done.

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