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Darkest Hour Movie Review: A detailed Portrayal Of Churchill’s Public And Private Life

Darkest Hour Poster
Written by Varsha Pillai
Joe Wright’s take on the life of Sir Winston Churchill seems to be his delineation of the quote, “It is in the Darkest Hour, that the stars shine the brightest.”

Darkest Hour is a biopic on Churchill, but doesn’t make an attempt to show his entire life. Instead, the movie spans over a month beginning with Churchill’s ascend to the office till the evacuation at Dunkirk. The movie begins with the resignation of the ailing prime minister Neville Chamberlain (Ronal Pickup) following huge criticisms for his incompetency. A new prime minister is urgently needed to save the empire. The only person whom the opposition party approves as a rightful heir is our protagonist, Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman).

What looms bigger than Churchill is his reputation of being extremely theatrical and mercurial. But the first glimpse we get to see of Churchill in the movie is of him him mumbling something in the loo to his personal assistant and making an entry in a carelessly draped bathrobe. Despite being elected to the position he dearly chased for his entire life, Churchill doubts his worthiness for the role.

The story moves back and forth between Churchill’s personal and public life and doesn’t lionize him. Churchill battles his inner demons of self-pity and low self-worth, but in the public eye he is volatile and obstinate.

Darkest Hour
Source – ScreenGeek

Gary Oldman gives a show-stopping performance, rather than an impersonation in the movie. He makes the controversial historical figure seem human and one can’t help but like him. For this performance, he has already won a BAFTA and is nominated for an Academy Award. Kristen Scott Thomas delivers a spectacular performance as Clemmie Churchill. Performance of Ben Mendelsohn as King George V is perfectly nuanced, he never overplays his stutter.

Gary Oldman’s performance wouldn’t have been so convincing if not for Kazuhiro Tsuji, the Japanese genius behind Oldman’s looks in the film. The cinematography and background score, done by Bruno Delbonnel and Danio Marianelli, does complete justice to the era of 40’s.

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About the author

Varsha Pillai

She’s human. At least that’s what she’ll tell you. Dare you tell her that she has a good sense of humor and be prepared to be the lab rat for all her lame jokes for the rest of your life. Apart from that, she’s got a master’s degree in ‘Being a 4 a.m. friend’ and is currently pursuing her PhD in making instant noodles.

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