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Customer Review

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Dissenting Voice, 16 Oct. 2010
This review is from: My Boy Jack [DVD] (DVD)
A superbly acted and produced drama but, having read a lot about Kipling, including the excellent factual book about the death of John (also called 'My Boy Jack' and written by Tonie and Valmai Holt) ultimately I feel that it distorts the whole point of the real story. Kipling NEVER found out conclusively what happened to John, as he does in the film, despite interviewing dozens of witnesses and in his grief and lack of 'closure' (to use an ugly modern term) he plunged himself into the work of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commmission, and was responsible for much of the famous iconography and symbolism of the Commission's cemeteries and memorials. This includes the wording 'Known Unto God' which Kipling chose for the graves of the thousands of unidentified soldiers , instead of everyone else's 'unknown'. That's what you get when you appoint a genius to do the job instead of a bureaucratic committee. The wording was later adopted by the American Battlefields Commission as well. I thought it a pity that none of this came out in the film at all, particularly as so many people now visit the Commonwealth cemeteries of the two World Wars, in fact far more than ever before. The film also glossed over Kipling's uneasy and complex relationship with his American wife Carrie. However I accept that it was a drama not a documentary and was not too upset by the odd historical gaffe such as Kipling speaking in front of a Kitchener recruitment poster before war was even declared! David Haig was born to play Kipling and in the end I felt sorry that he, who was of course behind the original stage play on which the film was based, was not truer to the real, moving story.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Nov 2012 09:37:06 GMT
Def Jef says:
I'm glad you wrote this, Markhoni. Whilst some may disagree with your rating it is good to know some extra detail and, as with all historically based drama, that there is plenty more to research about the true facts. If nothing else this stuff does encourage more knowledge. Just try Braveheart!

Posted on 25 Aug 2015 10:51:53 BDT
JJA Kiefte says:
You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but you do not rate the film as such. Apart from the historical oportunities missed and little anachronisms, how was the acting? The screenplay? The camerawork? The music? The direction? In that sense your review is not very helpful, I'm afraid.
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Location: Bury, Lancashire

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