Gilberto Says CHURCHILL Is A Compelling Character Study.

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FILM REVIEW: CHURCHILL

BY GILBERTO CAMPA

Churchill_(film)

Historical drama’s can often have its issues due to the topic, the person, and even the time period or perspective that the story takes place in. Personally speaking, I enjoy historical dramas that involve heavy character moments paired along with a compelling story that will keep me interested even if I already know what is going to happen. That’s what I experienced with Churchill, a film that does many things right by focusing on the characters in the movie and having those characters be the focal point.

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Churchill tells the story of (as you can tell) one of the most important figures in the history of the 20th century, let alone the 1940’s Winston Churchill. As the Prime Minister of England during the height of the Second World War and days before the Landings at Normandy or as it is historically known as D-Day, this movie gives us a look at what not only Churchill was going through but what everyone close to the situation was going through as well. In terms of the casting it was important that they chose an actor who can not only look like Churchill but can BECOME Churchill, and Brian Cox (Troy, The Bourne Films, Braveheart, X-Men 2) was a perfect choice for this movie and the story that they told. Accompanied most of the time by a glass of scotch and his trademark cigar, Cox was not only able to display the strength and vigor that Churchill always carried throughout his life, but he also showed his fears and vulnerabilities right with the opening scene of the film.

© Graeme Hunter Pictures

The rest of the cast served as not only a counter point to what Churchill was trying to do, but more importantly they made Winston look at things from a different perspective. John Slattery (Mad Men, Spotlight, Howard Stark in the MCU) was that difference as he played General and 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In many ways Eisenhower and Churchill have similarities but many differences when it comes to the next step that they should take in the war which leads to a lot of differences. But overall Slattery was able to match the intensity and carry his own (In opinion) against Winston which was great to see. The same could be said for Clementine Churchill who was played well by Miranda Richardson, she was really the anchor of the film when it comes to how Winston looks at situations and especially when he gets out of line and makes mistakes because of his ego and his temper.

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A majority of the conflict in the film is talked about and is expressed through these powerful characters, but the biggest battle in the movie is between Churchill at the time and his younger self  and more importantly his pride. Winston does not want to have the same thing happen again that he experienced before with all of the young soldiers who take part in the Normandy Invasion. And he also wants to be in the War by being with those troops and not wait at home for the news of what happened, and he learns that there are certain things that age doesn’t allow us to do anymore. But in War there are choices and sacrifices that have to be made and a lot of the time it’s difficult to realize that, especially when you are someone with the intensity and the care that Churchill had. Ultimately that is what this movie does well, watching this film you can relate to what Winston goes through and at the end he is still able to provide the strength, wisdom and leadership to his country by using that powerful voice.

 

FINAL WORD:   StarStarStarHalf StarEmpty Star