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Hotel Rwanda Vs Schindler's List

A friend asked me to compare Hotel Rwanda with Schindler's List after my recent review of Hotel Rwanda.

Hotel Rwanda is dubbed as the African version of Schindler's List, and there are grounds on which such a comparison is valid. Both movies deal with genocide. The heroes of both the movies belong to a race/tribe which is on a killing spree and they decide to save the helpless victims. Both heroes trade money, whiskey, wine and gold to buy human beings. Both movies end on a positive note.

Technically speaking, Schindler's List is top notch. Photography by the brilliant Kaminski is an art work in itself - freeze any shot and you can print it, frame it and hang it on your wall. Magnificent use of light and shadows. Edited by Kahn, I never felt three hours pass by. The story simply flowed from one scene to another with a touching intimacy. John Williams, I think will set the Guinness record for the most number of Oscar nominations in the music category. He is simply amazing here. Schindler's List, without Williams' score would've been a masterpiece. And with his score, it becomes an unparallelable masterpiece. Finally, there is Spielberg. I somehow believe that Spielberg was born to direct Schindler's List. If storytelling is an art, then Spielberg taught it to the world through this movie. Spielberg tells the story on a grand scale and does a magnificent job of manipulating the emotions of the audience so that they empathize with the Jews.

Hotel Rwanda doesn't boast of great technical feats. Photography by Robert Fraisse is good. Most of the time the camera is static and he makes us a voyeur watching the events through a window. Geraghty is the editor and the editing is gracefully done. None of the scenes were obtrusive. Music is composed by a group of four and it never announces itself. That's a compliment, in case you were wondering. Terry George is the director and he's done very good in extracting credible performances from everyone. George remains evenhanded in handling the events, trying to present a documentary feeling to the movie.

Schindler's List is the best movie I've seen. It made me cry on my first viewing and on my second viewing too. Schindler's List is my child - there can be many beautiful children in the school, but none is close to my heart as my child. So, if I started to compare the two movies, I'd falter because I'm biased. The paragraph I wrote in my previous blog came close to belittling Hotel Rwanda - of course, if you ask me to compare anything with Schindler's List, I'd happily produce a compendium of superlatives, which will mislead the reader. Although Hotel Rwanda lacks the emotional punch of Schindler's List, (which I think is intentional) it stands very well on it's own. That is why I consciously didn't mention Schindler's List.

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