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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted and captivating drama, 31 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Pacific - Complete HBO Series [DVD] (DVD)
As with Band of Brother which is from the same Hanks/Spielberg stable this is a historically accurate and absolutely captivating drama. The story of the US forces, and particularly that of the US Marines, follows their progress through the Pacific campaign to overtake islands held by the Japanese. The action and battle sequences, like those in Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan are so realistic (if we're allowed the luxury of imagining how horrific battle would be) as to be edge-of-the-seat gripping and quite frightening. We're left in no doubt about the fear, the suffering and the horror of battle, it is brought real into our living rooms.

The story, as far as the main characters are concerned, follows the trials and strife of a few real-life soldiers from the campaign, one of whom may be the bravest soldier of the twentieth century. In any other era of film making, we could be forgiven for assuming that the exploits had enjoyed some Hollywood over-dramatisation; not so, if anything, the heavily decorated John Basilone was even braver in real battle and real life than he is portrayed in this mini-series - I looked into his sadly short career on Google. Suffice to say that the producers have not exercised any moviemaking license or dramatic hyperbole in the making of this series, and they needn't have done, the truth is startling and frightening enough.

The characters are well drawn, youthful, callow as the teenagers and frightened as the young soldiers of WWII would have been. There is no schmaltz, no tackiness in sketching the relationships, even when playing out the brief romance and even briefer marriage of Basilone.

Shot in low saturated colour, the photography gives the movie a feel of the period, a period of history which we all think of as having taken place in black and white and which makes us uncomfortable with livid technicolor. Each episode is so captivating and seems so short (though they are not) that I challenge you not to watch at least two episodes on the trot.

A fabulous dramatic roller coaster and I recommend it to you.
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