(This review may contain spoilers).
While I don’t tend to watch war films that much, I was intrigued by the trailer of this and the idea of seeing another movie that showed the realities of war, rather than glorifying it, but still showed the kind of heroism ordinary people displayed.
The movie moved around a lot, showing different events all happening at the same time. While it did a good job of showing the confusion and terror of the battle, I found it quite difficult to fully engage with each thing that was going on. It was easy to see the desperation in some of the soldiers who just wanted to go home. And, of course, the way the war affected those people who lived.
I also found it difficult to differentiate the men in the planes. It was good to see the way the small boat tried to pick up and help the men who went down, even if there was a cost to that.
While there was violence in this movie, I thought it seemed downplayed quite a bit. In comparison to the previous war movie I saw (Hacksaw Ridge), the violence was shown across the troops and not individually, which I felt wasn’t quite as effective. However, the fear and survival instinct of the men came through very strongly. Even if there were some soldiers I felt made some morally wrong choices, at least in the movie.
I was very drawn into the movie, even though there were some difficult parts to watch. While I didn’t know much, if anything, of the soldiers’ pasts or relationships, I cared about them in the present time. And it was easy to get caught up in the emotions they experienced, whether it was fear or elation.
I felt this movie was quite powerful to watch the first time through, but I don’t think I personally would gain anything from watching it a second time through, so I won’t be going to see it again or buying it on DVD.