The Trench

1999 | War | More info on IMDb

A fine and evocative war film with an excellent cast!

Not a conventional war movie but a VERY British close up at the inter-personal relationships during WW1 before the Battle of The Somme. The Battle is known for the senseless sacrifice of such a great number of Irishmen - from the 36th (Ulster) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division. Not much new here that wasn't in "All Quiet on the Western Front" or "Paths of Glory" or "Gallipoli", but some lessons need illustrating for new generations.

This moving, heart rendering, eye opening and though provoking directorial debut is a little gem that somehow got hidden away without any publicity and was mostly shown on a satellite movie channels.

Two things seem obvious as cultural distortions in this film. The first is the casual, almost disrespectful attitude and unruliness of the soldiers. This isn't something that happens just once or twice, but frequently. While all military throughout history likely has had some humor and playful banter among troops at times, it seems to be more of the rule among this platoon of Brits. The second is in the language. Again, all military throughout history likely has had some use of foul or rough language. But here, it seems that this 1916 platoon of British soldiers has adopted early 21st century British street talk (is it really that vulgar among society in England today?). And, I doubt that the British may always have had more vulgar mouths than we Yanks. But, by the standard of this film, the Brits make the service times of my family, from WW II through Vietnam, seem like baby talk.
Written and Directed by William Boyd Starring: Daniel Craig, Cillian Murphy, Paul Nicholls and Julian Rhind-Tutt

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