This film was a shock and a half. Prepare yourself for potential spoilers up ahead.
I was lulled into a cheery sense of security when I ambled into the cinema with my bestie to find that the bank holiday crowds were definitely there to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy film (review coming, watch this space). Our screening room was chilly and half full of elderly patrons with their fleeces wrapped around their shoulders. As we definitely lowered the average viewing age by about 20 years we chortled merrily and settled back to watch what we thought would be a heart-warming tale of success amidst a chaotic world.
How naive we were.
I won’t detail the reasons why, but both of us ended up sobbing. I think we were genuinely caught off-guard because you sort of get swept up by the film within the film and forget about the war going on around the characters. I know, personally, that I was entirely too focused on a budding romance to see the building signs of tragedy.
Casting the sadness aside, this film was brilliantly made. Of course the cast full of big names helped with the overall digestibility of the film. Bill Nighy – an all-time favourite of mine – was spectacular and genuinely hilarious throughout. Sam Claflin was authentically charming: and by that I mean that his character was laced with the correct amount of misogyny for a male writer in the 1940’s, but you could sort of look past it because you knew in another century he’d be an absolute doll. Gemma Arteton (Catrin) delivered warmth and grace to her role but didn’t offer much pizzazz, if I’m being honest. I wouldn’t say she was as obviously trail-blazing as some characters (hint: the woman wearing men’s clothes and making lesbian jokes – Rachael Stirling I love you but surely being this brazen was totally historically inaccurate??) However, Catrin’s character becomes a script-writer despite her gender and breaks out of writing just the ‘slop’ which I presume makes her somewhat of an icon for women in the 1940’s. Overall, her characterisation was a little bland for my liking and most – if not all – of her decisions and defining moments were driven by men. Yawn.
One of my favourite details from the film was actually during the making of the film (within the film) when they used a clear, illustrated screen to depict the masses at Dunkirk. It was hilarious seeing Nighy walk in and unwittingly ruin a take, but I genuinely thought seeing the process behind detailed scene-work before CGI was fascinating and whimsical in equal measure.
Anyway, I’ll keep this short and sweet. All I really wanted to say was definitely go and see this film, but take some tissues with you… just in case.
Please enjoy this picture of Sam Claflin with a tiny moustache. -Via: The Arts Desk-
P.S. Can we all agree that Ellis (Jack Huston) is just the worst?