11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Australian WW 1 film with a heart that is quite good,
This review is from: Forbidden Ground [DVD] (DVD)
This is an Australian production set in the mud and death of World War 1 France of 1916. It is about three British soldiers who after a suicidal charge at the Germans or `Bosch' are left struggling in `no man's land'. They have been led by their Sergeant Major Arthur Wilkins, played by the writer and director Johan Earl. The cowardly and spivvy Lieutenant having decided to be right behind them in the communications trench.
There is also the story of his loving wife at home, Grace; this is told in parallel to his and his comrades' plight. She has been a bit of a flibbertigibbet and now has to suffer the consequences of either the bottle of gin in a warm bath remedy or social exclusion as a `fallen woman'. Meanwhile Wilkins knows that there will be a major push at a certain time and they will have to be back to the British lines by then, or it will be game over for him and he will never see his beloved wife again.
The Australians made the brilliant `Beneath Hill Sixty' about the Aussie miners that fought and died in The Great War, and it was excellent in every aspect and proves they can do it. This is a also a very good attempt, but has a couple of issues. The accents are a bit up and down which was a bit diverting, cockney, upper class often get mingled in Aussie. Most of the acting is solid, but no one was ever going to get an Oscar for their efforts. This actually had quite a small budget of 30K cash rising to 1.5 million Australian Dollars, not the 4 million as stated on the IMDB page - Johan corrected my error in a very nice email. A lot of that went on the trench attack sequences which took 22 days to film, doing the night sequences in between, so fair do for dedication.
At first glance the uniforms look good but to any true Army aficionado they will spot minor errors in badging etc. These though are actually small points, the story is actually quite good and the social issues as well as the total pointlessness of war were good to be inter woven. I found that I was more than interested and let the odd lapse go by. I wanted to give this 3 ½ stars but am awarding 4, as this is a good independent effort, that said some may take issue with too many stereo types and the Germans actions are also a bit questionable, to say any more would be a plot spoiler. Thin then is for fans of war genre films who can appreciate a good story, and a good effort made for pocket change in Holywood - recommended