When I saw the stage play a few years ago, the natural barrier of no women characters was too much for me. I really didn’t enjoy it. So, it was with some curiosity I attended a screening of JOURNEY’S END, based on the 1928 play by R. C. Sherriff, which will be released in Australian cinemas November 8th. And like Shawshank Redemption before it, I was won over by the storytelling. And the exploration of universal themes. Despite modern warfare being explored often in contemporary screen art, The Hurt Locker and Burns/Novick’s Vietnam come to mind, this story of trench warfare in WW1 may have its greatest impact in its distance.
We meet the officers and men, astonishing nomenclature made worse when we meet the ‘servants’ of Company C, in Aisne in 1918. They are being rotated to the front, “up the line” to serve their 6 days per month allocation. The story is of the officers in their dugout rather than the NCOs and men around them in the mud and the sewerage. Their captain is Stanhope (Sam Claflin) who has a slight and slipping grip on his heavy responsibilities which he is unable to attend to sober. But he is a man for whom duty is not just a word and he has the support of Lieutenant Osborne (Paul Bettany) who is his mentor, his champion and a loyal, capable, Number 2. Continue reading JOURNEY’S END: CINEMA ABOUT THEN FOR THE NOW