My wife Pam and I in an effort to do more things together than just parent have of late been trying to schedule going out to a movie theatre every second weekend. That and restaurant suppers with friends comprises our joint social lives. The problem, however, is finding a good movie to watch.
We have approached several films with open minds and been disappointed. We avoid extreme violence and superhero movies, which together seem to represent two thirds of the available movies.
Although I have no designs on becoming a Facebook movie critic, I did want to extol the virtues of the film we saw last night. Up to last night I felt that “A Beautiful Day in The Neighbourhood” about Fred Rogers was the best movie I had seen this year. The film we saw last night was the British movie “1917”. It was impactful.
Firstly it was a great film. Like most British movies, it’s lead characters were actors, not Hollywood celebrities, and they skillfully caused me to feel great empathy and concern for them. The movie held a tension throughout, and I was startled several times throughout the movie, causing me to mildly jump in my seat. In a manly way of course. I generally prefer not to be startled at this age lest it cause a release of bodily fluids.
Secondly, the film was impactful. It’s graphic portrayal of the battlefield, dead lands, and abandoned bodies provided me with a reminder of the misery of war in general and the First World War particularly. The identification that the actors achieved with me caused me to think how I would not have survived that food, those trenches, crawling over bodies, and how would I have managed to shower twice per day. I did think of relatives who died as young men in 1917 in Europe. What misery.
I do not like the glorification of violence or war. This film did neither. The film deserves the Academy award, but more importantly we should all see it to remind ourselves of the misery, desperation, and pointlessness of war. See it. Invite a world leader to go with you. Enjoy the beauty of your day!
Photo by Pamela Palmer