Film Reviews

Testament of Youth

//// Writer: Vera Brittain, Juliette Towhidi
//// Director: James Kent
//// Cast: Colin Morgan, Georgina Bennett, Emily Bevan

This powerful film captures in flashes a young girl’s coming of age during the First World War. Based on the true story of Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander) a 17-year-old girl from a privileged upbringing, Testament Of Youth tells of her experiences when those close to her enlist in the military. The admirable aspects of this movie are the romantic flashbacks, the English setting and the beautiful symbolism in many of the scenes. Vera begins as a budding suffragette, stubborn and blinded by her captivity. She has only three friends; her brother, Edward (Taron Egerton), his best friend, Victor (Colin Morgan) and a new acquaintance, Roland (Kit Harington). She signs up to assist and further immerses herself in the pains of having loved ones in the war. The movie sees her mature with compassion and understanding, weighed with her love of education and morality but choosing love over all. It’s heartbreaking, almost unbearably so, watching as this young woman continues to be challenged. Vikander captures the heart of young Vera, from the withdrawn emotion to the outlandish passion. There’s a beautiful juxtaposition between the lifestyle she’s grown accustomed to and the turmoil she voluntarily pursues. Love interest, Roland, is warm hearted and often too daring. Be prepared for the depth of this film: it includes grim aspects of that sadly grim war and is truly moving.
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