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Amid the Civil War in 17th-century England, a group of deserters flee from battle through an overgrown field. Captured by an alchemist, the men are forced to help him search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field.
A moving and personal portrayal of dramatic events
'Chasing the Deer' is a worthy achievement in British film. It is blessed with a script which is concise enough to maintain a pace, whilst full enough to emote and explain. The cast, hardly block-buster names, is fortunate enough to contain some genuine talent and convincing accentuation. Battle scenes are sensitively managed, lacking the gore and brutality of films such as Gibson's Braveheart, but surpassing such films in the authority of the history. The use of experienced re-enactors of the period, noticeably the Charles Edward Stuart Society, allows an unusual reality into the ranks.
This film truly makes the grade in its balance. No judgement is pronounced on the rights or wrongs of either side in the conflict, and the sense of tragedy transcends the politics. Far from the romanticised Niven performance in Bonnie Prince Charlie - a green and pleasant distraction - this portrayal of the Jacobite rising both unfolds its history and presents its raw emotion. Do not expect big budget epic, but enjoy this stirring and credible treatment.
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