If you think about the French Invasions of the 19th Century, you think about a time of war, tragedy, heroism, violence and excesses. It is the perfect plot for an epic movie. Unfortunately, in the case of "Linhas de Wellington", the movie is Portuguese. Don't get me wrong, I am Portuguese too. What I mean is that we, as a nation, have a very hard time dealing with our own heritage and heroes. I don't know, perhaps deep inside each of us knows how short we fell of living up to our forefathers extraordinary legacy. Anyway, regardless of the reason why, the fact is that we do not give enough praise to the best among us, and that reflects on our modern art in general and in this movie in particular. That being said, instead of all the drama, heroism and war, this movie shows the story of simple people, ordinary anonymous folks, leaving their land as the French Army advances. Unfortunately, there are too many characters, not shown long enough for the viewer too actually identify himself with any of them. That turns the movie into a tale about people you don't really care for. As for the Duque of Wellington, the way he is portrayed is nothing short of revolting... As you would expect from a Portuguese movie because of all I said above. As a conclusion, "Linhas de Wellington" is a big disappointment. It is watchable, but nothing more than that.
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