My Best Friend Anne Frank Review: A tale of two friends defining the true meaning of friendship
Anne Frank’s tragic life story has opened the eyes of many and has shed light on the oppressive rule of the Germans during the second world war; however, Netflix’s recent release adds a new life to the story. ‘My Best Friend Anne Frank‘ tells the story of having Anne Frank and Hanneli (Hannah) Pick-Goslar as pivotal characters.
It shows to what grave extent Hannah wanted to stick by her best friend, something which is an immense lesson. Hannah was the German Jewish refugee whom Anne befriended back in 1934.
The two were full of life exploring their teens just like any other kid without having a clue of their impending fate.
‘My Best Friend Anne Frank’ has its fair share of flaws; however, it didn’t shy away from showing the German’s cruelty towards the Jews.
Despite being quite a sad watch, it does show the moral values of friendship that stays strong even during the weakest hours.
My Best Friend Anne Frank Review: A sad watch but could’ve more depth
The official synopsis read, “Based on the real-life friendship between Anne Frank and Hannah Goslar, from Nazi-occupied Amsterdam to their harrowing reunion in a concentration camp.”
The film kicks off with both Anne and Hannah discussing having French Kisses with their male admirers, which then shifts to the present scene, 1945, with Hannah being captive in the Bergen-Belsen Exchange Camp.
Unbeknownst to her, Anne was present in the Concentration camp, where the situation was far worse. We see the story from Hannah’s perspective, as she reminisced the good old times with her best friend.
Something that might put off the viewers is how they developed Anne’s character. Throughout the movie, Anne’s true potential of being a quirky teenager not feared to try thing were somewhat shadowed by the mean persona.
At points, Anne and Hannah would have slight tension in their friendship to the point where Anne become a little mean to her.
The film could have portrayed the duo’s friendship in a better light as, at times, it was evident that Anne didn’t reciprocate the way Hannah felt for her.
The film tries with full effort to delve into the German brutality and their barbaric treatment towards the Jews. They treated the Jews as insects and thought it was their right to crush them.
Murders at will, barging homes, harassing innocent people, spitting on their faces, they didn’t leave any stones unturned to torture them.
Josephine Arendsen did an excellent job playing the character of Hanneli (Hannah) Pick-Goslar.
She managed to keep everything in the right direction even when the script was failing.
Oppression against the Jews
‘My Best Friend Anne Frank’ is as sorrowful as it can get. A few specific events will make even the toughest of a person sympathise with the characters.
The first was when Hannah had to get a doctor for her pregnant mother, but she couldn’t as the Germans set forth their hostile raid (razzia).
She returned home only to find that her mother and the unborn child couldn’t make it.
If it wasn’t all, she lost her father while still being in the Bergen-Belsen Exchange Camp.
He was supposed to be exchanged; however, he couldn’t travel and urged the nurse to see Hannah before passing away due to his extreme illness.
Midway, we see Anne and Hannah having a small argument. After having her mind clear, she visits Anne’s house but gets disappointed.
The new tenant tells them that Anne moved to Switzerland.
Hannah was shocked and sad as Anne promised that both of them would move together. It was obvious that it wasn’t the case and that Anne and her family moved to the annex.
The plan was to take Hannan with them. However, with Hannah’s sister Gabi and the new child, it would have been impossible for them to stay together without getting caught.
Despite all that, Hannah had a feeling that Anne might be in the concentration camp. At nights she would call her name out to find her whereabouts.
On one fateful occasion, we get to see their much-awaited reunion (although not in the way anyone would want).
It’s revealed that both Anne and Margot were captured. They were in a lot worse situation than Hannah’s.
They were extremely ill and were not fed for days. It’s where the movies show us the true strength of humankind and their capacity to endure.
Hannah, her father and Gabi were supposed to get exchanged the next day.
However, the moment the two were reunited, a ray of hope rekindled despite all the odds.
Hannah decided to stay in the camp to give food to Anne. She also rebels against her father to go against his wish as she was Anne’s best friend and would not leave her side.
During the film’s final moments, we see Hannah successfully tossing over the food packet to Anne and finding a way to talk to her directly through the separation.
In the brief discussion, they conversed about their life’s goal, to which Hannah agreed to be with Anne in her quest to see the world.
On her way back, Hannah collapsed, and the scene shifted to the time when the captives were let free. Hannah and Gabi finally tasted freedom; however, the same couldn’t be said for Anne and Margot.
The overall film could have been a lot better, as it couldn’t do proper justice to Anne and Hannah’s friendship.
It did succeed in showing Nazi’s atrocities and tyranny that will boil your blood, but else it lacks emotion.
‘My Best Friend Anne Frank’ was officially released in theatres in 2021. The worldwide premiere took place on Netflix o February 1, 2022, and is currently available for streaming.