Verdict: Gary Oldman delivers one of his finest performances yet.
A political war film about the legendary man, Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, at one of his finest moments of his career.
What's Darkest Hour About:
Darkest Hour explores the early days of World War II through the perspective of one of the greatest politicians the world has ever known – Winston Churchill. It shows the events of one month starting from the time Winston Churchill is appointed as the Prime Minister during one of the darkest periods in European history.
Churchill has to make a decision whether to negotiate with Hitler or continue to fight against all odds. He faces strong opposition with his rivals striving for his resignation even as he comes into power and has to make decisions with the lives of hundreds of thousands of troops in Dunkirk at stake. Going behind the scenes of what Nolan showed in Dunkirk, Darkest Hour shows Churchill's importance in the operation.
Gary Oldman is the star of Darkest Hour. He has given an impeccable performance even through the many layers of prosthetics. Oldman disappears into the role with ease, leaving only the magnificent persona of Churchill for you to marvel at. Churchill is a role done many times before but none have come close to portraying his intellect, his motivations, and his uniqueness as close as Gary Oldman.
At times Darkest Hour feels almost like a documentary with real people instead of actors doing what they do best. Oldman's Churchill shines the most in interactions that show his dynamics with the rest. Whether it's his superior, King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn), his assistant, Elizabeth (Lily James), his wife, Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas), or his rivals like Halifax (Stephen Dillane) – the whole cast manages to support and elevate Churchill's performance.
Apart from great performances by all the cast, Darkest Hour is also visually stunning. Director Joe Wright infuses his signature sense of style to the film without the flourishes being a distraction from the substance.
What Could Have Been Better:
While Darkest Hour is one of the finest historical films of the recent years, it might alienate those who are not history buffs. There at times where the pacing can feel a little bit slow, but it is worth the watch for the great cinematic moments alone.
Why You Should Watch:
Darkest Hour is set to be a favorite in the awards season for a reason – it has a performance that has to be seen. Gary Oldman has already won a Golden Globe for this performance and is one of the top contenders for Oscars as well. This is a film that you can't afford to miss.