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In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honor and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are cowards when they chose to surrender instead of committing suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the Japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor. Written by
I remembered watching this movie when I was younger and it affecting me a lot. Well, I re-watched it recently and it has lost none of it's power.
The acting in the movie is adequate without ever being great (the notable exception being Tom Conti who is fantastic in his role as the misunderstood titular character).
However, the movie moves beyond the acting and once you are embroiled in the atmosphere and realism you become oblivious to any acting shortcomings.
The movie must be one of the most accurate depictions of human nature in a war. It has a diverse range of characters yet none of them becomes a caricature. It certainly doesn't sink into the good vs evil mindset that many war movies do.
The violence is graphic and shocking despite lacking the visceral realism of Spielberg's later war movies.
The ending of the movie still affects me, even after repeated viewings. I still have to a lump or two to stop from crying even now.
Overall, recommended for anyone with an interest in a non-stereotypical movie about war. Not for the faint of heart though.
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