Analysis Of Hansel And Gretel

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In Milchwald, filmmaker Christoph Hochhäusler presents a modern German version of the Brothers Grimm’s classic “Hansel and Gretel.” Although these two tales are not identical, they share enough similarities to convey the same theme. By comparing and contrasting the plot, setting, and characters in Milchwald and “Hansel and Gretel”, one can see how Hochhäusler cinematically engages with his textual source to convey a theme of uncertainty and ultimately develops a compelling story for contemporary audiences. This theme of uncertainty is most evident in the plot. Both film and fairy tale are driven by the uncertainty that surrounds the children as they attempt to return home. The Brothers Grimm write how Hansel and Gretel “soon lost their way…show more content…
In “Hansel and Gretel,” the children’s abandonment is schemed by their own mother. The Brothers Grimm portray the mother as a highly manipulative person, who refused to “give [the father] any peace until he said yes” (Grimm 44) to her plot to starve the children to save themselves. Hansel and Gretel’s mother executes this maneuver not once but twice, since the children successfully return home the first time. Although the mother is not a focus for the rest of the story, the reason for her behavior is uncertain. She is atypical of most maternal characters because she is willing to sacrifice her children to prevent her own…show more content…
When Sylvia fails to find the children, whom she temporarily abandoned along the side of the road in a burst of frustration, she merely drives back home and hides their backpacks to make it seem like she had not seen them that day. For the rest of the movie, Hochhäusler continually films her passive behavior while the father frantically searches for them. Sylvia idly stands by while the father phones the school, checks all the places his children frequent, and reports the missing children to the police. Her lack of concern sharply contrasts with her husband’s anxiety. Since the audience is left to wonder about Sylvia’s motive for the entirety of the film, her behavior contributes to the uncertainty that pervades the story. By holding the stepmother responsible for the children’s disappearance, Hochhäusler again links his film to the textual

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