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Unlikely friends in a melting pot of confusion. Simon Murray fights for the French Foreign Legion. Pascal Dupont fights for himself. War torn men question honour, hope, morality...because you can desert everything...except yourself.
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »
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March 15, 1939: Germany invades Czechoslovakia. Czech and Slovak pilots flee to England, joining the RAF. After the war, back home, they are put in labor camps, suspected of anti-Communist ideas. This film cuts between a post-war camp where Franta is a prisoner and England during the war, where Franta is like a big brother to Karel, a very young pilot. On maneuvers, Karel crash lands by the rural home of Susan, an English woman whose husband is MIA. She spends one night with Karel, and he thinks he's found the love of his life. It's complicated by Susan's attraction to Franta. How will the three handle innocence, Eros, friendship, and the heat of battle? When war ends, what then? Written by
Centres on Czech WW2 pilots the older Frantisek, the boyish impulsive Karel and in the background the quiet piano-playing Honza. As the film opens, it is 1950, the war is over and Frantisek and Honza are imprisoned in a former monastery. In their now Soviet-controlled native country they are 'enemy of the people'. Honza is severely maltreated by his Communist countrymen and dies.
In 1939 many pilots manage to escape German-occupied Europe and make their way to England where they join the RAF. Notwithstanding their high motivation and experience they face RAF reluctance and British stiff upper lip. Finally they fight gallantly in the Battle of Britain. However, Frantisek and Karel find their friendship severely tested when they both fall for the same woman.
In terms of romantic sub-plot, this is very similar to the Hollywood production Pearl Harbour. However, given the context of the film and Frantisek's eventual fate, it is also possible to read the English woman's treatment of the two men as symbolic of British treatment of the Czech and Polish RAF pilots: conveniently forgetting them once the war is over.
In addition, the film is a lot less cliché than Pearl Harbour and the characters are more fully realised. Dark Blue World also scores in terms of its stunning aerial dogfights, which were seamlessly created using a mixture of models, actual live-action aerial filming and out-takes from the 1969 epic The Battle of Britain.
In short, Dark Blue World is a well-made, moving, thought-provoking and exciting drama that puts the likes of Pearl Harbour to shame. Highly recommended.
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