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Private Peaceful details the gritty rural lives and loves of Tommo and Charlie - two young brothers - and their poor Devonshire family from 1909 until 1916, when the outbreak of war destroys their country idyll. Both join up (one under age) leaving behind the beautiful Molly who is the love of both their lives. The young men survive gas attacks, shelling, German troops and the appalling deaths of their close friends. But one thing they cannot escape is summary military justice. Written by
Guy de Beaujeu
This story involves the lives of two English brothers growing up in the early twentieth century. We witness their comradeship at school as older brother Charlie looks after younger Tommo. We observe the hardship endured by their mother after her husband dies in an accident. We see them meet Molly for the first time and have a beautifully painted scene where we know exactly what each brother is thinking. And the passage of time leads us to the Great War and how they end up as soldiers.
Each link in the chain is perfectly manufactured, perfectly fitted together and brilliantly paced apart. Every thing is carefully drawn in charcoal before the colours are added and we know what the painting is really revealing.
The acting is of top quality, the costumes a delight, and the times, cultures, and habits carefully put to good use. There is poetry on the screen in abundance but it is not stuff that is hard to work through. In the whole it is entirely entertaining and satisfying because there is no artifice in the script. You know what the characters are and there is little sentimentality present but sensitivity in abundance.
If you had made this film you would be well proud of it. Had Hollywood made it with major stars it would be in the Oscar stakes. As it is it is a work of art, lovingly put together by a crew who must all be congratulated on their skill.
Warmly recommended for early teens and above.
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