46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
THE TRENCH IS HEART-WRENCHING STUFF,
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Trench [DVD]  (DVD)
Saw THE TRENCH recently, the first film by famed novelist William Boyd (Armadillo, A Blue Afternoon) and was very moved by it. An odd piece in its structure (very little happens until the last 10mn) as well as form (almost entirely studio-shot) the film's evocation of the absurdity of war was ultimately very successful.
Disposing of any plot, Boyd slowly traces the 48hrs leading up to the Battle of the Somme, with a group of (very) young soldiers. They are bored, restless and scared and as an audience we are asked to go through the same journey. And when the inevitable does happen we are left in tears because we got to know and like those characters. This film is Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN but the other way round (in the Hollywood big budget blockbuster you start off with the battle and the death and the carnage and then you are bored for the following 2hrs!). For emotional payback THE TRENCH is a much more satisfying experience.
Paul Nicholls' performance is probably too weak to carry the film but Daniel Craig's awesome display of charisma is in itself worth watching the film for.
Also I would like to point out to so-called WWI experts who have written reviews for this film that the days depicted in this film take place in June when trenches were not muddy and wet, not yet at least. I do agree though that explosions would have rendered the field itself more lunar than grassy and luxurious.
A definite recommendation. You will not regret it.