Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

'The Notebook' is a Stereotypical War Movie 

Film Review

In his review of The Notebook, a Hungarian period piece that opens today at the Cedar Lee Theatre, critic Godfrey Cheshire noted that had the film not been based on a famous French novel by the same name, it probably wouldn’t have been green-lit for development. He makes a good case for his argument, citing a rather weak script (co-written by the book’s author, Ágota Kristóf). The film follows a familiar trajectory as it explores the life of two twins (András Gyémánt as One László Gyémánt as Other) after their mother dumps them off at their grandmother’s house to keep them safe (their father thinks that because they’re twins, they’re automatically subject to suspicion).

Their grandmother (Piroska Molnar) — a woman the locals call the Witch — treats them poorly and even though World War II appears to be coming to an end, they can’t escape its horrors as soldiers move in. In order to make themselves numb to their grandmother’s abuse, the twins take to beating themselves, impressing the military men in the process. It’s all rather twisted (and grim) and it’s no surprise that the film doesn’t provide a happy ending. As much as the film successfully shows the horrors of war, the lack of any real sympathetic character(s) (the twins are rather ruthless and cold) makes it a difficult movie to watch. And the film’s ending seems so out of sync with the rest of the story that it’s hard to find believable.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation