In my opinion, I did not like the movie. The story of Anne Frank is a tragedy and you’d think that it would easily be made into a movie or tv show, but you would be wrong. The movie was originally made as a tv show for the BBC before the YouTuber, “LeGrim Reaper” changed it so that all the episodes were combined and could be watched as a movie. When I was watching the movie, I was thinking that It would be better If they made a tv show of this story but as I continued to watch the movie, I couldn’t image how this take on the story was a tv show. The pacing felt to quick for an episodic format (the episodes were around 30 min each) and to slow for a movies format. Also, I expected there to be narration in this movie (which I expected to be bad) but It was worse than I thought, sometimes you don’t know if Anne’s narrating or if she’s just talking to someone. The audio was also very bad, occasionally sound effects (narration and actions) would mix with the score and make this awkward sounding mess, the score was just really bad as well. The actors were a mixed bag some of them did a good job like, Felicity Jones (Margret Frank) and Iain Glen (Otto Frank) but some of the actors did not do a good job like, Ellie Kendrick (Anne Frank) and Geoff Breton (Peter Van Daan). Overall, I thought this movie felt like a “best of” montage where the creators took bits and pieces of important events and character development from the book and placed it all over in a somewhat cohesive film. Sometimes you wouldn’t know the reason why a character would do something because the film doesn’t show enough character development prior to make the character’s actions reasonable.
Similarities between the book and movie:
The casting director did a great job finding actors (and actresses) who look almost exactly how you envisioned them while reading the book. Another similarity is towards the end of the film the whole movie just gets happier, the war seems to be getting closer and closer to ending, there was an attempt made on hitlers life, they just got an abundance of food (strawberries) and Anne kissed peter. It felt on point with the tone set in the book during this time and then suddenly out of nowhere they are caught which was a good scene.
Differences between the book and movie: In the book it’s very easy to tell the concept of time with almost daily diary entries and clear dates. In the movie it doesn’t give any information regarding how long they were hiding until the end when they were caught. When the people of the secret annex were caught Otto Frank said they were hiding there for around 2 years but up until that point they gave no indication for how long it’s been since they first started hiding. For the viewer who might not have read the book prior to watching the movie they would have been very confused of the time frame. Another major difference is how the movie handles the character Anne Frank, in the book she has almost a redemptive ark. She reflects on her past actions in disappointment, she not proud of the way she used to act and wants to change. In the movie you have no indication on whether she knows how to mean she’s being, how bad she’s acting or if she just doesn’t care. In the book the reason you don’t dislike her is her willingness to change but, in the movie, she’s just outright mean or selfish with no hint of change. The final major difference in this movie were how the characters acted. In the book Anne often talks how much she hates certain characters like her mother, Dussel or Mrs. Van Daan explains reasons why she does. In the movie she acts like she hates them up the in reality (movie) they are really caring and nice to her. This might be a creative problem (director) or it might be on purpose I don’t know but it does make you think. It makes you think, maybe they were nice to her in real life or maybe Anne was just petty or selfish when writing these diary entries. She once went and got her father to convince Dussel to give up his personal space for herself and only went to her father because she was getting her way. And then once she got her way, she insulted Dussel in her diary even though he gave up his space for her. There are more situations like that in the book and they really make you think was Anne mean to people for nearly no reason or did she have reason to dislike these people?
What I would have done to make the movie better:
I would fire the director he did a poor job. Next, I would talk to the costume designer and have the children slowly grow out of their clothes over time instead of them always fitting in them perfectly. I would do more wide shots instead of many close-ups to better the audience’s understanding of how small and miserable their living conditions were. I would also rework the script to improve character development and give Anne Frank a more redemptive ark. I wouldn’t have such a prominent score, and have it been a bit more subtle. There would be long bits of complete silence to portray the day-to-day life of the members of the secret annex. The lighting would overall be darker to make it seem more miserable. At the end of the Anne Frank book, there is a “afterword” which tells you what happened to the members of the secret annex in more detail, I would do that in my version of the movie but in a way that allows the film to maintain its rating but also show the horrific living conditions of the concentration camps.
I did not like the movie I thought the book was better. This is saying a lot because didn’t necessarily enjoy reading the book. I found it a bit weird that we are reading young girls diaries. The movie had many problems and the things that were done well were overshadowed by the things done bad. So, if I were to recommend one or the other, I would say read the book if you are interested in the subject matter.