Much like the battle that takes place in arguably Wells' most famous
novel, this made for TV film seems to have a battle of it's own in the
attempt to fully round the character of one of the most contentious
authors of the twentieth century. And it almost works.
The first half of the film deals ostensibly with Wells' many flaws -
his dream of a Utopian society (with an island for the discarded 'weak'
population, to be hidden away), his war-mongering during the First
World War, and his wandering eye around the ladies. However, the film
is at pains to show that, rather than the hate-filled fantasies of an
evil man, all his controversial ponderings come from his over-logical
brain, and it is only when confronted with the actualities of the Great
War that he sees the error of his ways on so many issues.
The film itself does show HG Wells as a human being, and has no
problems showing his flaws and his attempts to rectify himself and the
world. However, there are flashes of his predictions for the future (he
coined the phrase Atom Bomb 30 years before it's invention), complete
with scenes of the Vietnam & Iraqi conflicts, giving the film more of a
Nostradamus feel, as if he had visions, rather than educated guesses!
Michael Sheen as ever gives a wonderful performance in a slightly above
average film, and shows how imperfect, but well meaning, HG Wells was.
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