Darkest Hour

darkest_hour_posterYear: 2017

Synopsis: In this highly Churchill-centric retelling of historical events, the British government desperately works to find a way to deal with Europe quickly falling to the nazis, and how to save the bulk of their army at Dunkirk.

Pros:
• Gary Oldman created the stubborn, grumpy heart of the film as the pivotal Winston Churchill.
• A truly engaging rendition of events that succeeded in creating suspense when the resolutions of the events depicted are well known.
• Arguably recreated how isolated the British government might have felt at the onset of WWII, even though they were still running a global empire. Europe falling to the nazi’s as quickly as it did most certainly caught the world off guard.

Cons:
• Though months are truncated into two hours, it can always be a distraction on how much artistic license was taken with the historical events. Those likely alterations came off as very similar in goals to the propaganda depicted in the film.
• Characters other than Churchill tended to be somewhat two dimensional in their depiction.
• Though the sense of “group effort” was there, much of the pivotal decision making seemed glazed over in favor of more Churchill.

Discussion:
No matter how many ways it may be told, there was no denying that Churchill was the right person to lead Great Britain against the nazis. He was an aging old Brit with certainly a few regrets, but he certainly had no intention of letting a whole empire down. His shear stubbornness, uncompromisingly depicted on screen, was something politicians and fascist dictators underestimated. With the help of many — and cocky miscalculations on the nazi end — he played that pivotal role in keeping a global empire afloat. Britain might not of truly had the moral high ground in how they built an empire into the early twentieth century, but the world might be very different today if Britain’s home island chose bending the knee instead of irrational stubbornness. Darkest Hour may not be a verbatim textbook on the first years of WWII, but we were shown the hardest decisions of one of the most flawed British leaders.

Related:
Dunkirk (2017)


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 85%

Discussion on the film’s historical accuracy

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