The Pianist recalls "Schindler's List," even down to its weakness: Just as Spielberg's film turned sentimental in its final half hour, Polanski's work, too, has a schmaltz coda. But that doesn't make The Pianist any less effective.
The story won't win any prizes for coherence, but that doesn't much matter. As in most Hong Kong thrillers, it's the visuals - love those boldly choreographed shootouts! -- and moments of absurdity that count.
In an attempt to understand this phenomenon, Ziv interviews leaders of terrorist groups like Hamas, failed hit men now in jail and relatives of those who died carrying out these attacks. The effect is frightening.