Based on Pat Barker's novel of the same name, 'Regeneration' tells the story of soldiers of World War One sent to an asylum for emotional troubles. Two of the soldiers meeting there are ... See full summary »
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Jonny Lee Miller,
Based on Pat Barker's novel of the same name, 'Regeneration' tells the story of soldiers of World War One sent to an asylum for emotional troubles. Two of the soldiers meeting there are Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, two of England's most important WW1 poets. Written by
Daniel Roy <email@example.com>
Beautiful, wrenching picture of the effect of war on the human spirit.
For me, this film was, in a quiet, deeply felt way, much more powerful overall than "Saving Private Ryan," to which everyone seems to feel they must compare it (although regardless of one's opinion about their comparative merits, it is a false analogy in some ways because "Regeneration" is a WWI movie and addresses very different questions). While the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" are stunning and their impact incredible, after that it becomes a rather disappointingly conventional war movie.
"Regeneration" is different. It is not with graphically real blood spilled, but rather with powerfully wrenching emotion and with poetry that this film drives home what war does to the men (and women) caught up in its sweep. The film's use of the poems of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen is stunning, and while perhaps even more of their incredible poetry could have been employed in the film, the ones the filmmaker employs are carefully and perfectly chosen.
This is a war movie because its focus is on the war's destruction of men. But do not go into this film expecting the action of the battlefield to play out on the screen. There are a few scenes from the fields of France, powerful and well-placed in the film. And throughout the movie, you can just hear the dull thudding of shells, as if from a great distance - a striking reminder of how physical distance does not mean emotional distance. But if you are interested in the emotional impact those shells had, in an examination of the struggle to recover from that impact, (through poetry, through love, and through therapy), and in the moral questions raised by war, this is a stunning, deeply moving film you will not soon forget.
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