I think I’ve said it before but I’m a huge history geek and being English and having to learn about it every single year of my young life, WWII holds a power over me that make documentaries, films, books or just about anything else set during those periods a must see.
This was a film I really wanted to see and never got around to it until it showed up on NowTV. Starring a who’s who of British stars we watch the world around Churchill as he gets thrown into the position of Prime Minister to face Hitler against the wishes of parliament.
I don’t need to tell you about Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill, his Oscar for it speaks for itself. He was phenomenal and as someone who either loves or hates any given Oldman character this one pretty much eclipsed anything I’ve ever seen him do personally.
So the film itself?
It really got across the struggles and hardship that Churchill was going through but also was a bit of a reminder of how parliament is its own worst enemy and how close we came to joining Hitler instead of fighting against him. If Churchill wasn’t such a strong character the war could have been much different and the world today a extremely different place.
Dark and suffocating throughout it reminded us that those times were indeed dark and scary, more so maybe for those who knew what was at stake. They were stuck together knowing exactly what they were sacrificing whilst those at home just prayed their loved ones would return. The bickering and attempts to oust Churchill instead of actual plans being put up to save the people they’d sent to France to fight for them made you equally as angry as it did sad, knowing that every second counted yet they’d spend more time plotting against each other then trying to help. At the same point you saw the hard decisions Churchill had to make and understood why they would be controversial and to some unneeded. In hindsight we know what those who wanted peace were willing to overlook, in those times they were just trying their hardest to bring their men back home and limit the damage to our little island.
What I guess I loved most is that we know how the war went. We know all the facts. Everything about this film wasn’t really new or surprising but it was so good at making you sit on the edge of your chair, breathless, waiting to see who came out on top of the struggle for who would be right and who would oppose their will on the country. You know Churchill wins, you know what he does and how he helps us win the war but they are able to make you wonder what exactly is going to happen next.
Some wonderful moments like seeing the boats go to pick up the soldiers, Churchill on the subway train and the final scenes in parliament.
It just made me cry.
If you haven’t seen it you should, if you don’t like historical dramas or care for Oldman, whatever it is that might stop you from seeing it I think you should still see it. It is just a seriously strong film.