Last year, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” led us into the fields of the Dunkirk Retreat and now, in a particular sequence Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” takes us behind the political tables in London. While it is to be noted, the situation in India is so turmoil that one can’t dare to make any periodical and that too, a political biographical film soon. Joe Wright looks at the larger perspective even though he wanders through the negativity of Winston Churchill’s character.
During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. Churchill is an important figure of the 20th Century but this film flatters itself with pride and honor. While the narrative sets out in an interesting manner but it soon gets done with the creativity and what happens next is, too-verbose. Considering it as a “war drama” with “biographical” input, it doesn’t satisfy the appetite even though it sings the symphony of World War II nostalgia – falls short of the achievements of the 2011 Academy Award-winner “The King’s Speech”.
As the melodrama starts unfolding during the Dunkirk Retreat sequence, it becomes less effective. Even the characters don’t completely blend in but the character writing is impeccable, before I forget. The typist (actually a Secretary) gets a major chunk of what may appear to be just a secondary roles and obviously, the dreadful opposition party members. May be, “The King’s Speech” was so excellent and resonating, and unforgettable – therefore, Joe Wright’s King George VI is alienated. But, I love periodical and especially, the World War Dramas – so a plus point already in the “bias-bag”.
Gary Oldman gets a role of lifetime. Since I’m not an ardent fan of his works other than the “Batman” series, I was totally engulfed into his character. It’s a subtle work overlaid with high-tech make up and (damn those) beautiful designer suits, surely written to win accolades. And it already did at the Golden Globes. Let’s wait and watch for the Academy!
“Darkest Hour” runs at 2 hours and 8 minutes which feels like few years into the immersive yet tedious narrative, it’s self-aware and proud of itself. In a particular sequence, Winston Churchill looks out from his car and watches the citizens functioning normal amidst the war-situation. I pretend to be normal.
Release: 22 December, 2017 (United Kingdom)
Director: Joe Wright
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