Directed by Saul Dibb, at the core of the story of Journey’s End is the unfortunate disintegration of a young officers mental state.
Set in 1918 in Aisne, France; officer Stanhope (Sam Claflin) leads a group of British officers into a dugout where they must await their fate.
Also starring Paul Bettany, Tom Sturridge and Asa Butterfield, I was drawn to this movie as a Claflin fan, a fan who wanted to see him in a new type of role… a less romantic one. I have to say that Claflin’s portrayal of Stanthorpe’s struggles may just be my favourite of his performances yet. I appreciates the fact that his character isn’t fully likeable, yet one can’t help but forgive him.
Another reason I like this film is the truth that, unlike what I’m used to in most war films I’ve seen, I appreciate the way Journey’s End showed me an officers mental troubles whilst still at war, as opposed to once he’d returned home. Equally, I was taken by the attitude of Stanthorpe’s superior(s). Particularly how desensitised and seemingly numb they’d become to the unspoken truth of what was coming. In this way, among others, Journey’s End is a film that left me with plenty to think about. Especially pertaining to how I realise that I may not have truly grasped the meaning of what it is to ‘soldier on’ until after watching this film.
In my heart and mind, The Hurt Locker (2008) is still my favourite of the war films I’ve seen. However, Journey’s End is definitely one I’ll remember for reasons including the performances and perspective(s) I didn’t quite expect.
It’s good. So watch it if you’re so intrigued.
Happy Film loving