Darkest Hour Story:
Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) must take the historic decision of whether the United Kingdom should negotiate terms with Adolf Hitler or continue to fight in World War II.
Darkest Hour Review:
‘Darkest Hour’ kicks off with Churchill who is reluctantly given the post of PM by King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) as 300,000 British soldiers are stranded and cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk by Nazi soldiers who have taken over most of Europe. While Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ largely focused on the evacuation of those soldiers from the beaches, ‘Darkest Hour’ documents the days leading up to those events, particularly around Churchill’s thought process before choosing the fate of his country.
It’s no easy call to make and this weighs heavily on Churchill’s mind and stooped shoulders embodied brilliantly by Gary Oldman who gives the performance of a lifetime. Disappearing under all the prosthetics and makeup, Oldman plays Churchill as temperamental and riddled with doubt. He infuses the otherwise grandiose wartime leader with a human sense of vulnerability that indicates the pressure the man was under at that time. An Oscar nomination for Oldman would be well-earned, and a win not too farfetched. Oldman is surrounded by a strong cast – Lily James as his secretary Elizabeth Layton plays a bigger role than she originally lets on. Ben Mendelsohn perfectly captures the stuttering yet stately demeanor of King George VI. Stephen Dillane plays Edward Wood, the 1st Earl of Halifax as an antagonist to Churchill, being conservative and reserved in his approach, pushing for the peace negotiation talks that throws the PM into a dilemma. Kristen Scott Thomas as Clementine who brings out the tender side in her husband Churchill, feels slightly underutilized.
‘Darkest Hour’ moves with a passionate momentum fueled by director Joe Wright’s dramatic vision as seen in the sweeping top-angle shots and backed by a stirring score. But while cinematic liberties are expected in the screenplay and even welcome in such historic retellings, there’s often the temptation to go over-the-top. The film falters in these parts, serving to blatantly provoke a response from the audience. This is particularly experienced during a scene on the subway with Churchill and the British people that takes you out of the movie and drags on longer than needed. ‘Darkest Hour’ is pretentiously flawed in its obvious award-baiting, but well produced and rousing enough thanks to Gary Oldman in one of his most impressive performances.
Atonement fame Joe Wright (director) has come up with another war drama based on World War II. Joe showcase his excellence in each and every frame as this one include lots of politics. The Theory of Everything (2014 movie) fame Anthony McCarten brilliantly scripted political condition of Britain during World War II.<br/>Gary Oldman (actor) carried whole movie on his shoulder by terrific performance as lead role along with great sarcastic dialogue delivery and V sign attachment through out the movie. Kristin Scott Thomas is also good in role of the wife of Churchill. Ben Mendelsohn ‘s role as King was monotonous which was required. In the end, Lilly James did some great acting as a secretary of Churchill.Make-up department also done excellent job especially in case of Gary Oldman.