Guy Crouchback,heir to a declining English Roman Catholic family returns to England from Italy at the start of World War Two and joins the Royal Corps of Halberdiers,along with various ... See full summary »
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Guy Crouchback,heir to a declining English Roman Catholic family returns to England from Italy at the start of World War Two and joins the Royal Corps of Halberdiers,along with various eccentrics though his attempts to get back with his wife Virginia,from whom he is separated,fail. After being implicated in a colleague's death he is sent to train a commando brigade on a Scottish island and ends up on Crete,taking part in its evacuation and escaping to Egypt with fellow officers Ludovic and Ivor Claire. He is returned to England courtesy of Mrs Stitch to possibly prevent him from naming Claire as a deserter. Guy marries Virginia a second time by which timer she has a child by ex-lover Trimmer. Whilst Guy is in Yugoslavia having a confusing time with the partisans Virginia is killed,along with Guy's uncle Peregrine,by a doodlebug bomb. Guy returns to England after getting involved in charitable agencies and eventually remarries. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Guy's character changes in rank in various scenes. for example he is a Lieutenant when sent on his second two days leave, when he returns early (after falling out with his ex wife) he's on the train clearly wearing the pips of a captain. Then reverts back to being a Lieutenant, until he's a Captain again when off the coast of Africa, reverting to a Lieutenant again when posted back to London (possibly a demotion there), but in the next scene on arrival in Scotland, he's once again a Captain. See more »
Having savoured Evelyn Waugh's magnificent trilogy, I approached this filmic adaptation fearlessly. The expectation of seeing Daniel Craig, a favourite actor of mine, added to the enticement. Finally, being a WW2 films buff, I believed I was in for a treat.
What a letdown...
It's not that this mini-series is badly made, that Craig does not act well or that the dialogue is stilted. It is just soooooooo sloooooooooooow (except for some (too few) battle scenes) that it borders on boring. The one notable exception was the depiction of the battle for Crete, which looks as if was filmed on location. It had the flavour of the real thing, conveyed through the bright photography. Also, Robert Daws as brigade major Hound was fantastic.
To me (no prude) the love angle was over-emphasized, with Megan Dodds annoyingly bad. Altogether, it took up too much screen time at the expense of other, more important aspects like the War, character development or Guy's Catholic dilemmas.
Also, watching Richard Coyle acting in the same mode as he did in Coupling made me realize what a limited actor he is although again, I stress that in Coupling he was the heart of the show.
Some reviewers have already noted that this film does not compare well with the books it is based on. I will add that while most films indeed don't, this one was an extremely painful example of how not to make a TV series based on a book, especially a masterpiece.
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