Family, Molly, Country
Tommo Peaceful and his older brother Charlie are just typical young men who in the wake of their father's death work and play hard. Play often involves the lovely Molly who Tommo falls for unaware that Charlie is also sweet on her and in fact have been carrying on in secret with Molly not only falling pregnant but them getting married shortly before the brothers are called up to fight in the war. Despite the love of Molly causes issues the brothers are still close and when events lead to Tommo being hurt Charlie is willing to do what ever is necessary to protect his little brother.
Every review I browsed as I looked for information on "Private Peaceful" mentioned the Michael Morpurgo novel it was based on and how good it was, even those who didn't think much of the movie mentioned how the book moved them. And as I say, that is all fine and dandy, but how about those who watch this movie having never read the novel on which it is based. Well sadly it doesn't have the same impact feeling like the storyline is eked out to not only bring it up to movie length but also try and create a much greater picture of the era but on a lesser budget.
What this means is that the first half as the focus is on the Peaceful boys as children, both falling for Molly and eventually Charlie marrying her feels like it is meandering. Not really going into a great deal of depth to establish the family life but going in to more than is actually needed. I suppose this is where having read the book helps because you know where the storyline is heading and in fairness the second half of the movie is where it finds the drama and energy comes which is lacking during the first half. But that slow, almost laborious first half is hard work for those who watched with greater expectations.
Now I did mention that "Private Peaceful" feels very much like a movie made on a lesser budget and that maybe why it tries to eek out the story for effect but it is still a nice looking movie. In fact it is also a nicely acted movie with Jack O'Connell, George MacKay and Alexandra Roach all playing their parts well, bringing physical appeal to the movie even when their acting doesn't quite deliver the emotion.
What this all boils down to is that "Private Peaceful" is for me an okay movie, one which you warm to more the longer it goes on. But this for me is one of those movies where if you have already read the book as knowing what is coming will help you through the slow set up.
Tags: World War I