This sounded and seemed like a very interesting and original movie to me. A sort of post-apocalyptic/war movie, set in the English countryside, involving mostly only teenage characters. And while the movie itself isn't a bad one by any stretch of the imagination, it still is one that isn't quite as good and interesting as it all sounds.

Main issue I had with this movie was that I couldn't see or understand what it was trying to say and achieve with its story. Guess it's trying to show war through the eyes of youngsters and by placing it in modern England it's supposed to come across as something all the more shocking, realistic and something we, in the western world, can relate to. However, for a war movie it actually is showing a shockingly little amount of war moments and all the scenes that are obviously supposed to come of as something dramatic and shocking don't work out that well, due to it that this movie just isn't the most engaging one to watch.

It just doesn't ever come across as a very deep or thought provoking movie, though I'm sure that the novel, which this movie is based on, is quite the opposite.

It tries to be a contrasting movie by first showing us in the first half the innocence of youth, while in the second half it's being a far more gritty movie. Problem with this however is that the circumstances may constantly change for the main characters but the main characters themselves hardly change at all. They were all pretty much very independent kids to begin with. Things potentially could have been far more interesting if they all went to some big transitions and were faced by some moral- and life changing dilemmas at some point. None of that is ever really the case in the movie, making this an ultimately too shallow and perhaps even simplistic one.

It's also somewhat annoying how anything gets hardly explained in the movie. It doesn't tell us anything about the actual war that's going on at the moment and the movie in general isn't providing us with enough background information.

There are also still plenty of good things about this movie though. It has a good look, with some fine cinematography and settings for instance. The editing was also quite good, as were all of the performances by the, mostly still very young, actors. Saoirse Ronan in particular of course was great.

It's still a perfectly watchable movie but not one that's going to make and leave a big impression. It isn't ever engaging and interesting enough with anything and therefore the drama and deeper meanings behind all of it fall kind of flat, turning this in an ultimately somewhat shallow and forgettable little movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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