Testament of Youth (James Kent,2014)

Have you ever watched a film just because there was an actor or actress that you love? Most of the times I find that some of the films my favourites have been in are awful but I watch the film over and over again to see that one celeb. For example, I love Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles from Supernatural (CW). Therefore, I have watched the terrible films that are ‘House of Wax’ (Jaume Collet-Serra. 2005) and ‘My Bloody Valentine’ (Patrick Lussier, 2009). So when I decided to watch the 2 hour film ‘ Testament of Youth’ in order to watch Taron Egerton I was expecting a fairly rubbish movie but that was not the case.

When Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander) has her fiancé Roland Leighton (Kit Harington) her best friend Victor Richardson (Colin Morgan) and brother Edward Brittain (Taron Egerton) leave for the war she is forced to experience life in World War 1 as a woman. Therefore, to play her part in this horrific event in history she becomes a nurse on the battle field. She is forced to face grief as she loses all the men she loves.

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The film opens with the innocent idea of Vera and Ronald falling in love and Vera’s attempt to get into the University of Oxford. However, as we all know what happened in 1914, we didn’t expect this love story to last long. All the eligible men are forced to join the army and fight for Great Britain, unfortunately this dark part of history resulted in the loss of many beloved family and friends. This is defiantly an aspect that the film shows rather too well, as we lose characters at much unexpected times throughout the film. Normally with films, the characters don’t die until the last 20 minutes but War was a lot more brutal and our film wanted to tear your heart out very early on.

However, the most unsettling part of the film is when she stumbles upon the body of her brother whilst on nursing duty. This doesn’t give me much hope for the duty of care during the War.  Luckily, he is still alive and she is able to rescue the last survivor in Vera’s life. She looks after him until he is able to fight again over in Italy…. Only to be killed. Don’t get attached to any of these characters because you will cry! Also be warned this is based on a true story so I would like to pay my respect for Vera and everyone lost within the World Wars.

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I found that this film shows the true horrors of War without showing any horror. We are given an indirect experience through the women left behind, who lost their husbands, friends and brothers. They were expected to ‘keep calm and carry on’ through this experience and help the wounded. This even included the British nurses tending to the German soldiers, the exact soldiers who killed their family. But these are still people who have family and are forced to fight for their country and this is a concept perfectly summed up by Vera within the first few scenes when she explains that they are people with family’s who feel the same way as us. So even though this is all past us now, it is still extremely horrific and stories like this will be remembered for ever.

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Here is a brief history of World War 1.

https://howhaveyounotseenthis.wordpress.com/a-brief-history-of-the-first-world-war/

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

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