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Film Review: Churchill

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Churchill is an emotive journey into one of the greatest Britons during one of the hardest times in British history.

 

Churchill follows Winston Churchill (as the name suggests) through the ups and downs of preparing for D-day, the final push of the Second World War. Whilst some may think that D-day was something all agreed on, this film shows that even the leader of our country wasn’t behind the idea. He lived in fear of losing thousands on the beaches of France, just like they did in World War One.

Visually, this movie is stunning. The first scene has Churchill on a beach and parallels the world as it is with the world of war that he sees – the blood and the gore and a lone hat floating on the waves. That, coupled with the iconic silhouette of Churchill, makes for a brilliantly memorable opening.

While there is very little in the way of plot, this is an incredibly emotional journey. Winston Churchill is suffering from depression and PTSD – something that is clearly shown throughout the film isn’t shied away from – and it affects him continuously throughout the film. It shows the uncertainty of the time and the divide of the nation. It also shows the limitations of age and duty, posing barriers at every edge that Churchill is unable to overcome.

This story does explore the line between harsh truth and a hopeful fantasy. Churchill wants the truth of those lives lost and what devastation could occur to be well known – but sometimes people don’t need the truth. They need a comforting lie. Churchill struggles with that balance and what his job as the leader of Great Britain really needs him to do.

These personal struggles form the majority of the story – between Churchill and himself, Churchill and his wife, Churchill and the Allied Forces, and there is no shortage of drama and tension to keep you entertained.

The acting is superb throughout this film. Brian Cox as our leading male brings a kind of intense gravitas to the role that makes you feel sympathetic to the struggles of the character, even in the times where he is the most frustrating and uncaring of characters. Clementine Churchill, played by Miranda Richardson, has this air of restrained composure that you see over the course of the film slowly being revealed as a side effect of being the Prime Minister’s wife.

Helen, played by Ella Purnell, was the ‘every woman’ of the story –the one that really brought home that what Churchill was needed for was far more important than what he wanted to do. She puts up with a lot from Churchill and through her, you see firsthand of the effect of the war upon the British public and those who are left behind when the call to arms is answered by those they love.

Churchill is an emotional piece of filmmaking that shines a light on one of the darkest times in British history and shows us that nobody is as infallible as they may seem.

Churchill is out now distributed through Lionsgate.




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