About – 1944 Auschwitz. We follow a prisoner forced to burn and clean his own people. He tries to survive by trying to find a ‘son’ to keep him hopeful and attempts to find a way out by talking to other prisoners.
‘Son of Saul’ captures the emotional meaning behind the devastation of Auschwitz. This is done by following Saul (Geza Rohrig), where the camera follows him around camp, this is done by breaking down the 360-degree camera visual. There are certain moments when the camera looks at what Saul is looking at, so then we get the information that he is experiencing.
The camera ratio helps this emotional connection to Saul, which is done by 1.37: 1. ratio. This makes the viewing experience in a square effect, enough for the character that is in shot to be seen clearly. This makes the background blurred, however we can still understand what is happening. This ratio has been done before in the British film ‘American Honey’. This type of ratio helps the audience to engage with the character that is being followed.
Saul (Geza Rohrig) is the character that we follow during this adventure of heartbreak. He tries to find a ‘son’ and a rabbi to help burry the ‘son’. We are emotionally connected to Saul from the opening sequence, due to him pushing his own people into a gas chamber and cleaning up after the mass execution. Geza Rohrig portrayed Saul in a stunning performance. This is his debut appearance in a feature film, which is surprising because of the beautiful performance that he portrays Saul in. Geza shows the real emotion that we need to have a connection with and this is done without any flaws.
Throughout ‘Son of Saul’ you are fixated on everything that is happening behind Saul, but at the same time you are fascinated by the emotions that he produces. The whole film is beautifully shot. However, the ending is something else. It breaks your heart and has more of an emotional effect on you, more than anything else that happens in the film. By having silence at the end and suddenly a heavy piece of score playing. Plays on the heart strings that makes you more emotional than you were while watching everything unfold.
Finally, ‘Son of Saul’ is heart wrenching, it touches on issues that films have done before, but this is a totally different outcome. You are following Saul around the camp, you feel this character and want the best outcome for him. You also fixate on the background which you don’t do in other films that tackle this issue, which makes ‘Son of Saul’ a unique piece of film.