Set in the fields of Devon and the WW1 battlefields of Flanders, two brothers fall for the same girl while contending with the pressures of their feudal family life, the war, and the price of courage and cowardice.
Private Peaceful details the gritty rural lives and loves of Tommo and Charlie - two young brothers - and their poor Devonshire family from 1909 until 1916, when the outbreak of war destroys their country idyll. Both join up (one under age) leaving behind the beautiful Molly who is the love of both their lives. The young men survive gas attacks, shelling, German troops and the appalling deaths of their close friends. But one thing they cannot escape is summary military justice. Written by
Guy de Beaujeu
Another film based on a Morpurgo novel,War Horse being the other,and like that film it's an exercise in emotional button pushing for the generation who are likely to know sod all about the history on which the work is based.It's laying on 21st century attitudes and morality to events which occurred 100 years ago when the world was very different.Yes it was terrible by our standards that deserters were shot and that poor defenceless horses were killed,but it's infinitely more horrifying that a huge portion of a generation who didn't run away, died or were maimed..The film is the cinematic equivalent of the kind of "ooh wasn't this terrible?" documentaries which infest the lesser Free To Air TV channels here in the UK.And by the way I'm by political persuasion a Lefty.
The film making is OK.The story of the brothers growing up in a rural village in Devon is fine and Alexandra Roach has the bonniest smile on British TV.It's when the lads join up that it pumps out the clichés like a Lewis gun.
Watch "For King And Country" for a good depiction of a soldier on trial for desertion and perhaps " Journey's End" for life in the front line(the 1970's version is really good".
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