The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Rated 3.0

The film version of John Boyne’s young-adult novel can make little Bruno, aged eight, and his friendship with the boy in “pajamas” the center of the action, but it can’t really immerse the viewer in a child’s point-of-view the way that a novel or short story could. And the details of “Berlin 1942”—Nazi Germany in World War II—are going to be so unavoidably conspicuous and menacing in a movie narrative that Bruno’s innocence and naivety get swamped in heavy-handed irony right from the start. Writer-director Mark Herman brings a kind of smooth elegance to the presentation of all this, perhaps in an attempt to echo Bruno’s naivety in scenic terms. But there is no getting around the painful historical details that become evident to us, if not to Bruno, almost immediately. Pageant Theatre. Rated PG-13