Sergeant Michael Dunne fights in the 10th Battalion, AKA The "Fighting Tenth" with the 1st Canadian Division and participated in all major Canadian battles of the war, and set the record for highest number of individual bravery awards for a single battle. Written by
Besides being an admitted movie addict, I'm also a retired professional soldier and a combat veteran who's served in multiple theaters of conflict.
I usually find myself quietly disappointed with war movies in general, and their vain, highly stylized, cliché-laden attempts to realistically portray infantry warfare, and high-intensity warfare's effects on soldiers. Film-makers invariably seem to fall far short in their attempts to capture the essence of what war can be (or was) like, and what exposure to it can do to the people involved, both mentally and physically.
To his great credit, I think that in Passchendaele Paul Gross seems to have actually managed to capture a reasonably authentic glimpse into both the nature of such hellish environments and the men caught up in them.
The acting was superb. The performances were so convincing that the notion that I was just sitting watching a movie didn't even occur to me until the credits began to roll by, I was so totally engrossed.
This film was easily one of the best that I've seen in quite some time.
I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for any future films by Paul Gross. Passchendaele stands as an extremely impressive testimonial to his obvious talents.
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