TIFF 2017 Movie Review: JOURNEY’S END (UK 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Journey's End Poster RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End is the seminal British play about WW1. Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, variously awaiting their fate.

Director:

Saul Dibb

Writers:

Simon Reade (screenplay), R.C. Sherriff

Stars:

Sam ClaflinPaul BettanyAsa Butterfield

JOURNEY’S END about soldiers (Officers and enlisted men) during an offensive in the trenches during the First World War is a story that is already too familiar to us.

Still, it is a story that needs repeating, to remind the world of the futility of war and that orders coming down from the top brass would ultimately be executed often to the death by the men of lower ranks, who has loved ones and families back home.

JOURNEY’S END is based on the 1928 play and filmed two years later by James Whale which starred Sir Lawrence Olivier as Cpt. Stanhope now played brilliantly convincingly by Sam Catlin.

Things get real only when the audience can put a face to the goings-on. The face in this case belongs to green 2LT Laleigh (Asa Butterfeld) who wishes to join the battalion of his old school mate Cpt Stanhope who used to be his house monitor and good friend of him and his sister.

The narrow trenches emphasizes the claustrophobia of the location complete with mud rats though only one is shown) and worms oozing out from the mud during a meal. To Dibb’s and the production designer’s credit, the film never feels like a play.

The message is clear that that human beings are the ones fighting the war, and there are casualties on both sides as the end credits remind both sides of the millions that have dies in WWI.

JOURNEY_S ENd

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