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Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Diary Of Anne Frank (2009)
Episode Two


INTRO: Episode Two resumes the scary cicumstances the Frank family and co are in, with more people slowly coming in.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
It is now October 1942. In the secret annex, the achterhuis, the toilet is blocked and her father, Otto, is forced to try and unblock by hand. Their helpers in the offices downstairs call a plumber, and the family are terrified that he will need to come up to the annex.

Anne finds Mrs. van Daan increasingly hard to bear, as she orders her around and criticises her in a way that her liberal parents never do. But overall they are getting used to their time together, and the strict routine by which they must live. Otto begins to oversee their school studies so that they won't be behind after the war. During an air raid, Anne is so scared that she runs to her father for comfort.

One day Anne invites Miep and her husband Jan to dinner and to stay overnight in her room. When they agree, Anne draws up a special menu in their honour, which Mrs van Daan cooks for them. But Miep brings bad news, which she tells only the Franks, that the van Daans' apartment has been ransacked and all their property confiscated. Also another person arrives to stay at the annex, a dentist called Mr Dussel, who will sleep in Margot's bed.


THOUGHTS: More people are entering the space, where therefore makes things very crowded and tight. There was a scene with Anne Frank in the bath which was a bit out there for my taste, although I really appreciated the acknowledgement of Margot Frank being on her period. This episode has some good performances, with Ellie Kendrick doing another good turn as Anne Frank. Her mixture of innocence and confidence works well, playing into the fact that she is a terrified teenager in a horrifying situation. Otto Frank does his best to truly keep the peace within the small space, with Iain Glen doing a great performance here. The end sees more people enter the space, which makes for an uncomfortable situation for Anne Frank going forward.

RATING: 75% - B+





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Diary Of Anne Frank (2009)
Episode Three


INTRO: Conflicts, Teenage love, quiet time with the drama, Anne Frank has a lot to juggle in this episode.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
It is now November 1942. The routine in the rear annex is now well established - as are the squabbles. Otto is shocked to discover that the building has had to be sold. They fear that the new owner will demand access to the annex and they will be discovered. The lease won't be exchanged for months yet, so for now the threat is over.

When Miep arrives she tells them their helpful grocer has gone missing. Miep also gives Mr Dussel the latest letter and food parcel from his fiancÚ - this annoys Anne as she thinks he is putting them at greater risk. Her parents agree but do not want to intervene. That evening Anne helps to wash her mother's hair and for once they are close. Soon it is Hanukkah and everyone in the annex gathers for the ceremony around the dinner table.

Food shortages are getting worse and Bep Voskuijl from the office now comes up to the annex for lunch every day. Anne asks Mr Dussel to let her use their shared bedroom for the agreed time but he isn't ready to give up the desk and they row. Otto talks to Dussel and persuades him how important writing is to Anne. Mr Dussel also begins to learn Spanish for his life post-war.


THOUGHTS: A good chunk of the episode focuses on Mr Dussell, the recent now resident within the hiding place of The Frank Family and friends. There emerges a point of conflict between Anne and Mr Dussell which at times can be funny but at times immature and silly with Anne. What is good for Anne however is the growing bond between herself and Thomas. There blossoms teenage love between the two which is lovely to watch unfold. Another thing to note is the family domestics which can be easy to relate to at this time during Covid-19 what with all the claustrophobia and the desperate need for space and peace.

RATING: 77% - B+





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Diary Of Anne Frank (2009)
Episode Four


INTRO: Anne has a birthday, yet also a very intense and emotional exchange with her father as she continues to come of age in the worst possible world.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
It is June 1943 and Anne is dreaming about her fourteenth birthday party. Suddenly she wakes up and remembers she is in the annex. Her family give her whatever they can, but the only present that really excites her is a bar of chocolate.

Also, the families are wearing out their clothes and don't have the money to replace them. In fact, the van Daans have little money left and argue about whether they should sell Mrs van Daan's fur coat. Otto measures Anne and Margot against the wall and finds that Anne has grown three inches in the last year. They learn on BBC radio of the capitulation of Italy (September 1943).

Anne is growing into a young woman and is amazed by the changes happening to her body and emotions. Her periods have started and she is becoming aware of her feminine sexuality. She has even started to look differently at Peter. When Peter comes up to the attic she tells him that she sees him differently now and apologises for having teased him in the past. He invites her to accompany him down to the warehouse to collect the potatoes. However, one day on his potato run, Peter forgets to unlock the front doors, forcing the employees to break in. Later, in response to her feelings, Anne writes her parents a hurtful letter.


THOUGHTS: The episode begins with Anne's birthday, a sweet scene with a rare happy atmosphere within the space. What follows is Anne's struggle to grapple with puberty, with the growing fear and anxiety that comes with it. Her relationship with Thomas continus to build, with Anne seeing him differently, with a fun scene of him walking by her in a towel. This episode bring with it a real sense of enjoyment, despite the limited storytelling in one setting. Yet I do not feel very stressed out or critical about this as the space has a real sense of cosiness to it as well as relatability given the current siutation. The ending itself is also very interesting, with Otto and Anne having a very emotional exchange over Anne's letter to him. It is not at times easy, yet at the same time I feel very nessacary for her to say.

RATING: 77% - B+





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Diary Of Anne Frank (2009)
Episode Five


INTRO: The last episode in this miniseries is a strong and hopeful episode, but not before ending with a tragic conclusion.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
It is June 1943 and Anne is dreaming about her fourteenth birthday party. Suddenly she wakes up and remembers she is in the annex. Her family give her whatever they can, but the only present that really excites her is a bar of chocolate.

Also, the families are wearing out their clothes and don't have the money to replace them. In fact, the van Daans have little money left and argue about whether they should sell Mrs van Daan's fur coat. Otto measures Anne and Margot against the wall and finds that Anne has grown three inches in the last year. They learn on BBC radio of the capitulation of Italy (September 1943).

Anne is growing into a young woman and is amazed by the changes happening to her body and emotions. Her periods have started and she is becoming aware of her feminine sexuality. She has even started to look differently at Peter. When Peter comes up to the attic she tells him that she sees him differently now and apologises for having teased him in the past. He invites her to accompany him down to the warehouse to collect the potatoes. However, one day on his potato run, Peter forgets to unlock the front doors, forcing the employees to break in. Later, in response to her feelings, Anne writes her parents a hurtful letter.


THOUGHTS: The final episode is a tense one, given that the end is pretty grim viewing. It begins however with burglars entering the compound, with adds a lot of stress for the characters as whether or not they will be found. The Frank family and friends however are given optimism when the Allied forces enter Europe, leading to the belief that they will all be saved and for this to be a happy ending for them. With futures on the horizon, Anne begins to round up what she wants to do and that is writing, with a discussion about her aspirations had with her sister Margot. We see Margot herself come out of her shell a bit more, talking about her hopes and dreams too, with Felicity Jones giving a good performance also. However, the story ends in a heartbreaking conclusion as the Frank family and friends are finally discovered by the SS. The final scene is a haunting and sad end with each of the stowaways leaving the space slowly and hauntingly. It makes for a very sad and emotional end.

RATING: 81% - A-