Company K (2004)
The March of War
After serving in World War I Joe Delaney (Ari Fliakos) returns home to America and struggles with what he witnessed and what he did. To confront those demons he decides to write a book about his experiences and those of the men he served with. But eventually Joe must confront his own actions when he was met by a German soldier whilst sent to deliver papers to headquarters.
The opening to "Company K" features Joe sitting on the steps of his home and we hear his voice as he describes the war field, how a year after a fight the grass grows greener and the poppies grow redder. They are haunting words which make you think and you take in every solemn word from this man who experienced the atrocity of war first hand. It is these words and many more which make "Company K", a low budget movie based on William March's novel a fascinating movie which works in ways that some big budget war movies miss.
But as I said "Company K" is a low budget movie and it doesn't have the precision or attention to detail of a big budget movie with camera work whilst solid not remarkable. It also is a movie of episodes as Joe's story tells the story from the perspective of a series of characters as they go through training to ending up on the front line. This lack of flow is an issue but not one which destroys the movie, it just weakens it because by being episodic we don't have a strong central character to feed off of, just the occasional narration.
But as I said it is the words which make "Company K" a powerful movie and when you just settle back and listen to the experiences of war rather than concerning yourself with the details it works. It allows you to accept that all the uniforms look to clean or there is a lack of dirt and grime when it comes to the trenches. And it is the words which stay with you long after the movie comes to an end rather than what you watched.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "Company K" is a war movie it is not one for those who are seeking war/ action entertainment. Instead this is a movie for those who want to hear about what World War I was like, what training was like, what fear was like and when approached as such it has a strength with a lot of war movies lack.
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