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All is not always great in love & war.
on 23 April 2007
This is a television film that has been in the BBC archives for nearly twenty years due to its rather unflattering portrayal of a war that we in Britain have always been led to believe was nothing other than a roaring success, one final crusade of a winding down British Empire.
Tumbledown not only charts the battle for Tumbledown mountain by the Scots Guards on the outskirts of the Flaklands capital Port Stanley, but also gives a fantastic and well scripted insight into the life, courage and boyhood soldier fantasies of a young officer, Robert Lawrence MC.
Revolving around memories expressed during a lunch in the country, it becomes clear very quickly that Lawrence is a stubborn and proud character that a young Colin Firth manages to carry off extremely well, almost unrecognisable from most of his more modern day movie roles. His memories are backed up and sometimes argued by one of his fellow officer chums also at the lunch.
Starting at the point of Lawrence sustaining his horrific head wounds, the film begins with the whole build up to the Task Force setting sail for the Falkland Islands and the eventual call up of Lawrence and his beloved Scots Guards to the war that many thought would never actually take place.
Over the next two hours you are taken deep into Firth's character Robert Lawrence as his boyhood fantasies of what war should be like are brought to a sudden and bloddy halt as he recieves a gun shot wound to the head on top of Tumbledown Mountain. His subsequent recovery is a slow and difficult process that a proud Lawrence finds irratable and hard to accept. His injuries produce an army officer who is bitter and unaccepting that he will most likely never lead his men again, and whilst his parents do everything in their power to aid him to a full recovery he loses his casual girlfriend and constantly feels guilt over not being back in the Falklands with his fellow soldiers.
It is clear that Lawrence was a charismatic officer who lead his platoon with distinction earning him the Military Cross, but his dogged determination to make a full recovery, constantly costs him socially as he rubs doctors and as mentioned his close friends and family up the wrong way.
The film concludes with you feeling sorry for Lawrence's prediciment but he is clear by the end that it wasn't worth it, just for the chance to live out some boyhood dream of fighting for Queen and Country. He has come to accept what has happened and has matured greatly from his experience.
This is a film that leaves you very aware that for every glorious military action there is a harsh reaction for those involved. All is not always great in love and war.
The battle scenes are realistic and transport you in a documentary style as if you were there during his flashbacks.
A great British war film that will now in its DVD format hopefully be recognised for the excellent bit of film making that it is.