Christopher is in Rouen with his godfather General Campion and the unbalanced McKechnie,his job being to kit out fresh troops for the front. His desire to see that the men are humanely treated brings...
Sylvia returns to Christopher,largely for the financial security and attends his mother's funeral,where her showy appearance shocks the mourners. Realising she is reviled she goes to a retreat but is...
A short film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Salmon and Nick Moran. LITTLE FAVOUR follows the story of WALLACE (Benedict Cumberbatch) when he is contacted by a former colleague to help... See full summary »
Patrick Viktor Monroe
James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.
A married couple moves back to its childhood village to start a family, but a surprise visit from the husband's brother ignites sibling rivalry and exposes lies embedded in the couple's ... See full summary »
Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.
A drama documenting the life and work of the theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking who, despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, has galvanized the ... See full summary »
Story is set against the backdrop of WWI and follows Christopher Tietjens, a top civil servant from a background of wealth and privilege, whose marriage flounders almost as soon as it begins. He falls in love with another woman, but he remains honorable for some considerable time to Sylvia who has several affairs. On top of this, Chris is dealing with shell shock and partial memory loss that he endures during the war.Written by
I read Ford Madox Ford's most celebrated novel "The Good Soldier" only last year and came to this dramatisation of his "Parade's End" with a good degree of expectation, tempered by some reservations about the anticipated over-writing by Tom Stoppard in bringing it to the small-screen. Reservations because I knew in advance that every character would be miraculously blessed with extreme loquaciousness, with almost no room for the plain everyday conversation that surely made even the Edwardian world go round, particularly in the trenches. Thus even ordinary soldiers in the heat of battle boast about their skill in translating sonnets into Latin pentameter, that most mundane of talents! At another point, Benedict Cumberbutch's Christopher Tiejens' character's young lover Valentine declares that their love is "like literature", which was probably the most opaque of a whole army (pun intended) of similarly opaque phrases proffered here.
As for the characters, I found them too many and too shallow and callow. I couldn't imagine cold-fish Tiejiens having an impulsive stays-busting romp in a train carriage with the venal but voluptuous Victoria, who, we learn later, uses her soon-afterwards child-birth as the means to trap him into marriage, for a child who isn't his. Other characters come and go, a mixture of the snobbish, the eccentric and the parasitic, individuals amongst them often re-emerging at the least expected moment, which for my money didn't help the narrative.
Acting wise, I found Cumberbutch underwhelming as the central character in the drama. He can do stiff upper lip crossed with pained guilt but little in-between. Rebecca Hall as his harlot of a wife does better as the promiscuous go-getter while Adelaide Clemens as his too obviously boyish-looking suffragette mistress never once appears natural and likewise fails to project her grand passion which supposedly outlasts the war.
The war scenes themselves are magnificently rendered in their realism and horror. I just wish that some of that realism had extended deeper into this drama of upper-class nabobs the likes of which I couldn't give a damn about.
28 of 53 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this