World War 1 was one of the bloodiest and most senseless conflicts in human kind history - the war started for no better reason than having a good war again, the weapons used were more deadly and cruel than ever, the 4 years and millions of dead soldiers changed absolutely nothing. So what is a better way to tell that story than through a musical?
Richard Attenborough have adapted 1963 stage musical by Joan Littlewood into a movie and the clear anti-war message of the production is clear from the beginning - Attenborough managed to show basically everything anyone should know about the conflict through series of songs that were popular during World War 1 and through the scenes from the frontlines and from the street and homes back in England.
The generals and politicians plan to have the war, because there wasn’t a good war for some time. Young Freddie Smith joins up the war effort to fulfill his patriotic duty, to gain the appreciation from the crowds in the theater, to make his mother proud. The thousands of soldiers meet in the fields of Belgium to settle the score... although no one knows why and what is exactly they gonna gain by fighting this war.
Through short scenes and songs we see the quick decline of morale and the understanding what actually started the war and what will it end. People are dying on the continent, which back home their families still can’t figure out why. At the same time the generals are planning great offensives that will gain few yards of no-man’s land even though dozens of previous offensives did not achieved even that much.
Great anti-war movie that shows the senseless background of World War 1 as well as the atmosphere on the frontline and in England.
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